Rey Cusco & Smith: Brothers in Africa

Rescued by ADI from a circus in the city of Cusco, Peru, are thriving in the world nature intended for them at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa. The two endured a brutal circus life, deprived of their physical and psychological needs as they lived on bare boards in a tiny cage. Smith is a huge male, but lacks a mane because he was castrated in the circus. At the Sanctuary, they receive proper nutrition, veterinary care, vital enrichment such as catnip-infused hay boxes, and ample space to roam, relax and play in an environment as close to what nature intended.

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Phase 1 of our roads project complete

The summer rains this year left our dirt roads between our lion and tiger habitats damaged, churned up, and often impassable. Our habitats cover over 60 acres and are connected by almost two miles of dirt roads which are used several times a day to deliver food, medications and enrichment for the animals, for cleaning and maintenance, and security/welfare checks. Good roads are essential to the welfare of our residents and for any emergencies like fighting wildfires and getting a resident to the hospital if needed.

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Lonely Hearts: Rolex, Africa and Kiara

Sometimes you want your own space! ROLEX (10 years) and sisters AFRICA (10) and KIARA (15), rescued from a circus in Peru, have made it clear they like things as they are! In their shared home at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa, they enjoy sitting and even sleeping close to each other on opposite sides of the fence, but don’t want to live in the same space. Although we were able to get the lions together a few times, it was clear that Africa and Kiara are just too close for another to join their group. We are pleased we explored this for several weeks and now understand the relationship the lions like. So, we will split the habitat into two; they can all enjoy a main habitat, platforms, dens, a feeding camp, and night house. They will be right next to each other and can communicate, maybe rub through the fence if they want, but in their own space.

SPECIAL APPEAL – can you donate to give Rolex his own pad, next to his sisters?

Sun is resting

The incredibly lively Sun gets a little shut eye at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa, but you know she’ll be playing again soon. Rescued from a circus in Guatemala, Sun lives with sisters Jade, Luna and Moon, known as the Spice Girls, they are four of the most playful animals we have ever rescued. And when it comes to toys like stacks of hay bales and giant catnip boxes, they are the most destructive. As winter approaches in South Africa, we will be adding hay bales for extra insulation around the dens for the lions and tigers. Each day the ADIWS team will be rebuilding the hay bales for the girls and each day they will tear them down and play with them. No wonder Sun needs to grab a rest when she can.

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Cuddle up with an Easter Leo

Easter symbolizes hope and new life, and that is very much the story of our rescued lions and tigers at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary. Leo is the Sanctuary father figure and the most senior lion, at 19 years old. Leo was rescued and came to the ADIWS with mate Muñeca and their children Africa, Kiara, Rolex, Chino and Coco – we were told he was daddy to many of the lions in Peru’s circuses. As befits our most senior resident, we act quickly if King Leo has a potential health issue. Most recently, he seemed to be not liking his food and losing a little weight, so we scheduled a dental check for both Leo and Muñeca. In the meantime, we tried hand-feeding with tongs with a variety of foods, cut into small pieces – and feeding him twice a day. Leo picked up straight away, and it seems he likes to be hand fed. Understanding his message, we have adjusted our level of service to boutique hotel style with gold service for seniors!

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Roads for lions and tigers

When it rains in South Africa, it pours! Our habitats are green and lush and our natural wells feeding the residents’ habitats are full, but with more rains than usual this year, WE HAVE A SERIOUS PROBLEM. Our lion and tiger habitats cover over 60 acres and are connected by almost two miles of internal dirt roads, which are becoming increasingly churned up and on certain days, some are impassable.

Roads may not seem as exciting as flights or new habitats for rescued animals, but they are vital for lifelong feeding and daily care. Without these roads, we will be unable to add habitats to rescue more animals and run the risk of being prevented from getting a sick lion or tiger to hospital during heavy rains.

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Rescue documentary Lion Ark – now available to stream

ADI’s Lion Ark movie is streaming on EarthStream for the first time, and available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku. Every subscription helps raise funds for our rescued animals at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary.

Lion Ark is a feel-good, empowering story of the most ambitious and daring animal rescue of its kind. ADI secured a ban on animal circuses in Bolivia following a two-year undercover investigation across South America. Then the law had to be enforced. Across vast, hostile terrains the illegal circuses were tracked down, the animals saved, brought to safety, and reached a joyous finale as 25 lions are airlifted to freedom in the US.

With no facilities for many of the banned circus animals in Bolivia, ADI undertook an unprecedented operation, setting up a temporary rescue unit to receive animals, raiding every circus, and emptying every cage. ADI rescued and relocated 29 lions and rehomed monkeys and other animals in Bolivia. The success of Operation Lion Ark and its popularity triggered animal circus bans throughout Latin America and beyond. Since then, ADI has carried out similar missions in Colombia, Peru (rescuing over 100 animals and flying 33 lions to South Africa), and Guatemala (relocating over 20 lions and tigers to the US and South Africa). The ADI Wildlife Sanctuary is built for our circus survivors and others.

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Sunset with the Cusco family

Good night from the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa. Could there be a better way to finish the day? These lions, Amazonas, Mahla, Kiara1 and Scarc, rescued from circus cages in Peru certainly don’t think so! Refreshed with summer rains the Sanctuary is at its most beautiful and our work re-wildling and encouraging the wild flowers to flourish is paying off, flowers, bees, butterflies and other wildlife are everywhere.

After months of travel restrictions due to the pandemic, Jan and Tim returned to the Sanctuary this week and enjoyed this greeting from the family rescued over seven years ago, a reminder of why we built a sanctuary in Africa. We hope to be starting Facebook live from the Sanctuary again soon after a long absence!

This beautiful landscape is why the summer rains are so welcome, but it also brings its challenges. Our natural lion and tiger habitats cover over 70 acres. Access is almost entirely by dirt roads, which become less and less useable with every rain storm. We have lots of lovely life-giving water above and below ground, and it is creating streams across the land. We urgently need to lay gravel on our most important roads, as well as some small bridges, to allow the natural water courses to flow to the lake. Our roads are vital to take food, medicines and other supplies to the animals, for veterinary care and for general safety and security monitoring. Can you help? If you can buy a road (or a bridge) for the animals, you can choose its name! You will be remembered forever. Roads are more exciting than you may think! They are the veins which bring life across the Sanctuary. Why not sponsor a road (or a bridge!), today? It’s $4,000 to sponsor and name an entire internal road.