Amazonas on her way to hospital

Amazonas, beloved aunt of the Cusco pride, is on her way to hospital. There was no need for sedation and she calmly walked into her travel crate. For some time, veterinarian Dr Peter Caldwell has been monitoring her right eye, which has a cataract and the lens has prolapsed to the anterior chamber. For much of the time, the eye has looked normal with occasional flare-ups. It is highly likely the eye will need to be removed. Eye problems begin in the rescued lions as a result of years of malnutrition in the circus. There may also be a genetic component, as the lions with the worst eye problems are likely related. Amazonas’s sister Kiara of Cusco had an eye removed five years ago and Leo had his eye removed last year. Although they are in two separate family groups, the circus owners bred and sold cubs to others and asserted that Leo was father to most of Peru’s circus lions. Kiara of Huarral is definitely Leo’s daughter (as is Africa), and now has a serious cataract in one eye.

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We are rooting for Rey

(Pictured at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary a few weeks ago).

Rey Ayacucho (or Rey A) will be staying at Old Chapel Veterinary Clinic under the supervision of Dr Peter Caldwell for a while. His condition is potentially serious with a large mass in his chest that is pressing on his lungs. Dr Caldwell has stabilised him and is evaluating different treatments. Rey is comfortable right now, and has a good appetite but can only eat small portions. Much Love to Rey and wishing for him to come home again to be with brother Simba at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary.

Rey hospital update

Thank you to everyone who has been sending “Get Well” wishes to Rey Ayacucho, who is currently in hospital at the Old Chapel Veterinary Clinic. You will be pleased to know that Rey is looking much brighter and has regained some of his appetite. Lions are so stoic, as in the wild it is not safe to show any weakness, which is a big concern when one of our ADI Wildlife Sanctuary circus survivors starts looking unwell. Rey is under the watchful eye of Dr Peter Caldwell and will be having some tests, so we are all hoping for the best and seeing him back at the Sanctuary soon with his friend and brother Simba.

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Lions get a veterinary checkup

Dr Peter Caldwell has had a busy day at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary checking our residents. Five lions were sedated for examination and blood/urine samples for testing: ReyA, Leo, Muñeca, Kiara2 and Africa. The most common health issues that our rescued lions face are related to the abuse and deprivation suffered in their former circus life, including: dental problems due to teeth being smashed and left to get infected, eye problems from malnutrition or brain damage from blows to the head and arthritis due to lack of exercise and living on hard, urine-soaked boards. We will often see a significant improvement in cataracts when the lions are put on a healthy diet and the problems can be held at bay for several years, but it does tend to return. ADI rescued all of these lions from circuses in Peru 8 years ago.

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Tarzan and Tanya are home

ADI Wildlife Sanctuary sweethearts Tarzan and Tanya are home, after a stay at the Old Chapel Veterinary Clinic for dental surgery and a partial lip lift for Tarzan. They arrived home just before sunset. Tanya headed out into the habitat while Tarzan settled down in his crate and watched the world go by as it grew dark! That’s ok, he could see Tanya and we are used to Tarzan’s very gentle pace. Tomorrow morning, they can get back to their normal routine.

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Tarzan gets partial lip lift

Many will remember the story of Tanya and Tarzan’s life of confinement and deprivation in a circus in Guatemala, where Tarzan was attacked by a tiger and his lower lip almost torn off – his dear Tanya still carries the scars where she defended him during the fight. Tarzan’s lip healed hanging from his chin after the horrific incident. A week ago, both Tarzan and Tanya had dental work from Dr Gerhard Steenkamp at Old Chapel Veterinary Clinic, and when Tarzan needed a second round of dental work this week, our veterinarian Dr Peter Caldwell took the opportunity to mend Tarzan’s lower lip. Handsome Tarzan has now had what we are describing as a lip lift! Dr Caldwell’s options were limited due to the lack of structure left, so Tarzan still looks his distinctive self, but with less of his lip now hanging down, which should be more comfortable. He is doing well, and the inseparable pair have remained close by each other throughout.

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Tarzan and Tanya undergo dental surgery

Get well soon Tarzan and Tanya. ADI Wildlife Sanctuary sweethearts are recovering at Old Chapel Veterinary Clinic under the watchful eye of Dr Peter Caldwell following dental surgery performed by Dr Gerhard Steenkamp. Circus lions and tigers often have teeth broken when they are hit in the face and it can lead to a lifetime of silent suffering. Many will remember how subdued Tarzan was when we rescued him from a circus in Guatemala – he tucked himself in a corner while Tanya stood guard. After emergency dental work to relieve his pain in our Guatemala field hospital he bounced back and was playing with toys. That was almost four years ago and Tarzan and Tanya were both in need of more treatment. Tarzan will in fact have additional dental work later this week and Tanya will remain in hospital with him until they can return to the sanctuary together.

Tarzan & Tanya head to the dentist

Sanctuary sweethearts Tarzan and Tanya, the lions ADI rescued from a circus in Guatemala, have won everyone’s hearts by their devotion to each other, but now they need dental work. Tooth damage is one of the most common problems we face when rescuing lions and tigers from circuses. When we took Tarzan from the circus in 2018, he was in pain, and both he and Tanya needed immediate attention in our Temporary Rescue Unit field hospital. Dental surgery transformed Tarzan.

At the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa we are therefore always on the alert for any problems with eating, in case it is problems with their teeth. Dr Peter Caldwell examined them both and they have been taken to his hospital to for dental work.

Obviously, if Tanya or Tarzan must go to hospital, they must go together! We will report back when they have seen the dentist, but for now, they are right next to each other and enjoying all the attention.

Bolillo is home from hospital

Bolillo returned from hospital to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary yesterday with a new treatment regime for his arthritis and is moving around Augie Habitat more comfortably. Bolillo was rescued from a circus in Colombia seven years ago, where he and another lion had lived in a space the size of a queen-sized bed for almost a decade. With poor food, no exercise and living on urine-soaked boards, little wonder arthritis and other ailments catch up with these lions in later life.

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Two senior lions in hospital

Please send your love to Colombian boys Bolillo and Zeus from the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary who are currently in Dr Peter Caldwell’s hospital under observation. The 16-year old lions were rescued by ADI from the same circus in Colombia seven years ago, where they suffered appalling conditions. This year, the past seems to be catching up with several of the lions we saved in Colombia.

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