It is with great sadness that we bring you the news we all feared, we have had to let Zeus go peacefully. Zeus had been in hospital for more than a week as Dr Peter Caldwell worked to find a way to alleviate the incurable spondylitis and irreversible degenerative neuropathy, causing the 16-year old lion to lose the use of his hind legs.
The problems are a result of his suffering in the circus and first identified in 2017 when Zeus was hospitalized.
We are heartbroken to bring the news that Shakira and Sombra have passed away, finally overcome by the health problems resulting from their suffering in circuses. As devastated as we are, it is also a reminder of just how precious every day of freedom we can give these animals is.
Animal Care Manager, Hadio, noticed that sweet lioness Shakira (from Colombia, sister of Easy), had a lump in her front armpit area and she was immediately taken to hospital. Dr Caldwell said it could not have been spotted sooner and we were optimistic because last year Shakira had x-rays and ultrasound for a chest infection, which showed no problems. We felt it had been spotted quickly and she was prepared for surgery. Our hopes were dashed. Tests showed a fast growing, aggressive cancer which had spread to her chest, lungs and elsewhere, nothing could be done for her. It was time to say goodbye. Shakira had been with us since we rescued her from a circus in Colombia in 2014.
Then, another blow. Sombra has passed away following heart failure. Vitamin deficiencies as cubs and inbreeding had left three of the tigers we rescued in Guatemala in 2018 with skull, nerve, and spine malformations. The tigresses have had multiple hospital visits, MRIs, various medications and health supplements since we took them from the circus, as we fought to break them free of the effects of their previous life. Bimbi passed away earlier this year and now, sadly, her sister has followed her.
Leo is back at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary after a spell in hospital. Our old warrior looked very much his old self, as he checked out his feeding camp and house and was then reunited with Muñeca, before they headed out into their Abbey Habitat together. Leo is coping well having had an eye removed by veterinarian Dr Peter Caldwell. His spatial awareness and ability to find his way around seem unimpaired.
Catnip boxes, melons, pumpkins, logs, and a swing keep Sasha entertained at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa (ADIWS) – all of which she enjoys after major surgery on her leg.
There is probably no better character to illustrate our work than indomitable lioness, Sasha. We found her in her circus cage in Guatemala, clearly in pain and limping badly. X-rays at the ADI Temporary Rescue Unit in Guatemala revealed a brutal declawing operation had resulted in a toe being crushed, instead of cut off as the circus owners intended. In our field hospital, the toe was amputated but we discovered disease had spread up her leg – she needed specialist help. After Sasha had settled in at ADIWS, she was taken to Dr Peter Caldwell, who removed 8cm of damaged bone and replaced it with a titanium scaffold and bone cement.
We have heart-breaking news – our dear lion OJ, one of our circus survivors from Colombia, has lost his battle against cancer. We had hoped he would get longer in the sun with his lifelong friend Iron, but it was not to be.
At the start of December, 15-year old OJ was diagnosed with an aggressive and incurable leukemia. With ADIWS veterinarian, Dr Peter Caldwell, we settled on treatment which would give him a good quality of life for a few months and if he was lucky, could give him years. Following treatment, our elderly warrior rallied and tests showed the cancer was retreating. He came home to the sanctuary for Christmas and continued his daily chemotherapy.
Our beloved Sasha has arrived home at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary after two months in the hospital!
In November, Sasha had ground-breaking surgery to remove diseased bone from her leg and replace it with a titanium scaffold and bone cement. The damage to her leg started in the circus in Guatemala. During a brutal declawing operation, part of the toe was left and became infected, leading to a local cancer and then bone cysts spread up her leg.
Now she begins a slow, careful rehabilitation at the sanctuary.