Ruben getting his passport

Thanks to your support, Ruben is a step closer to a new life at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa. We are counting the days! At the bear sanctuary run by Armenia’s Foundation for the Protection of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC), under the care of Dr Harut Hovhannisyon, Ruben was sedated for his vaccinations, microchip and parasite treatment so that we can apply for his Armenia export permit and South Africa import permit. While having his procedures, they decided to give him a little tidy up, grooming his mane and cutting out some dead hair. All ready and handsome for his new home!

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Help Ruben roar and hear the roars of others

Ruben was in a private zoo in Armenia which closed, the other animals were removed but Ruben was left behind. His world went silent. For over five years Ruben’s roars have gone unanswered. He has now been moved to Armenia’s Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife & Cultural Assets bear sanctuary, where ADI is funding his care in a quarantine unit. He has just been microchipped, had the necessary vaccinations and blood tests required for international travel. Dr Harutyn Hovhannisyan is working with Dr Peter Caldwell to establish a regime to prepare him for his journey and provide any necessary pain relief.

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Smith on the mend

We are delighted to report that the much-loved Smith is regaining his appetite under Dr Peter Caldwell’s watchful eye, at Old Chapel Veterinary Hospital. The huge lion has had x-rays, ultrasounds, and is now on medication and recovering from an intestinal inflammation. He will remain in hospital under observation until Dr Caldwell is satisfied he is ready to come home to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary and to his brother Rey Cusco. Keep sending your love for his speedy recovery.

Mr Smith has no mane because he was castrated in the circus in Peru, where he was rescued by ADI in 2014. He is 11 years old and weighs a whopping – second only to our largest resident, Mr Kesari (

Easy taking it easy

Beautiful Easy, rescued from a circus in Colombia, and now taking it easy at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary. At 17 years old, she is one of our senior lions. Like many of the lions rescued by ADI from circuses in Colombia and Peru in 2014, Easy is developing cataracts, often instigated by years of malnutrition early in life, but this is not causing her problems exploring Camo Habitat with companion David. The two were the first success story of our program to bring lonely lions together and are clearly loving life together.

To adopt our senior lioness Easy and help support her care:

Our old warrior Leo

Our old warrior, Leo, rescued from a circus in Peru, enjoys some sunshine at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa. Leo seems to have coped well with the sad passing of his lifelong companion Muñeca. But at 20 years old (at least) dear Leo is slowing down and starting to show his age. That doesn’t stop him exploring the whole of the almost 4-acre Abbey Habitat. We recently added a new platform den (with wood supplied by Trees for Tigers) so that Leo could easily find shelter when exploring the south end of the habitat. Here’s to many more years in the sunshine for our most senior lion.

You can adopt Leo to help support his care in his golden years.

Art auction to help lonely lion Ruben

Featuring seven beautiful works of animal art, the Animal Art Auction for Animal Defenders International is an incredible opportunity to own, or give as a gift, a unique piece of artwork AND support ADI’s rescue work. The six artists featured have kindly donated their work for the animals so ALL funds raised will go to HELP THE WORLD’S LONELIEST LION GO HOME – if you like what you see, PLACE A BID STARTING SATURDAY! 

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Here comes the summmer!

Yes, while many ADI supporters are wrapping up for winter, today is the second day of summer at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa. It’s the time of year when Africa, pictured, and the other lions and tigers sprawl out and snooze in the morning sunshine on their platforms. Only when it gets really hot will she head to the shade under the trees, below the platform or in her house. Saved from a circus in Peru, we can’t turn back the clock but we can give animals like Africa a life as close to what nature intended for her. Today, that means lazing in the African sunshine and as the day cools and the sun sets, patrolling Davis Habitat with sister Kiara2.

To adopt Africa and help with her lifetime care she deserves:

PS: The Giving Tuesday target of Phase 1 to bring Ruben, the Armenian lion, to the sanctuary has been hit. THANK YOU