Family life

Rescued by ADI from a circus in Peru, Scarc, mother Kiara1, and aunt Amazonas relax together in the 6-acre Tohir Habitat at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa. Mahla, Scarc’s sister, is not far away. Lions are the most social of all the cats and prides like this spend hours interacting and in each other’s company every day.

THE FAMILY WILL BE MISSING AMAZONAS, who was taken into hospital for eye surgery.

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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Picture perfect Kesari

Whose heart doesn’t melt when they look into Kesari’s handsome face with such distinctive eyes? Yet there are people who only see a trinket to hang on their wall – that could have been his fate. He fits their criteria: Big mane, beautiful face, huge lion.

When there was no room for Kesari at Pretoria Zoo, thankfully they did not put him up for sale but waited for a safe home, and when Captured In Africa Foundation contacted the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, how could we say “no” to that face!

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New look for rescued lion

Tarzan is enjoying life at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa, with his beloved protector Tanya after surgery, and his lip is healing well following his partial lip-lift by Dr Peter Caldwell and Professor Gerhard Steenkamp. The lion’s face had been torn apart by a tiger in a circus in Guatemala and the circus left it to heal hanging from his chin. After ADI rescued him, we pledged to see what could be done to help him. The surgeons were only able to do a partial lip lift because of the lack of tissue but, as those who knew him before will see, it has made a significant difference and we are sure he is more comfortable now. Tanya adores him just as much as ever.

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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Simba watches over ReyA

We understand the importance of social relationships for lions, so it was no surprise to see Simba watch over his brother ReyA as he recovered from sedation. Rey was examined by Dr Peter Caldwell after he developed a limp and was off his food. Simba sat at the door of their house until his brother was fully conscious. Rey is limping less now and has eaten a little more this week but remains subdued and we are all concerned. He is being closely monitored and Dr Caldwell is adapting his medication. WE ARE ALL HOPING REY WILL GET WELL SOON.

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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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Girls just want to have fun

Look carefully and you can see Africa in the long grass on the right, she pounces on Kiara and then they hurtle off into their enclosure at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa. It’s a simple scene that in an instant tells you what’s wrong with circuses and much of the way these animals are forced to live in captivity. These animals need space and an environment in which they can run and express themselves. Africa and Kiara were rescued from a circus in Peru where they lived for years in a cage the size of a queen size bed. Don’t believe the nonsense that circus owners spout that these are sedentary animals that just laze around. These are powerful athletes that want, indeed need, to run and play – they need the space to run and get up to full speed.

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