Were you watching as the lions and tigers rescued from circuses in Guatemala crossed the globe, stopping in Mexico, Belgium and Qatar on their way to a new life at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa? The flight of the 17 lions and tigers marked the end of a very tough 18-month enforcement operation of Guatemala’s ban on animal circuses. Fast forward two years, here they are now, at ADIWS this week.
Their lives changed under ADI care – from the day we removed them from the circus cages and put them in our Temporary Rescue Unit, they got to run and play on grass for the first time ever, and nobody can forget how the tigers splashed around in their first pools!
Five lions and 12 tigers, rescued from Guatemala circuses, make a great escape to freedom at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa. The animals were rescued during ADI’s 18-month operation to help enforce Guatemala’s ban on animals in circuses. Then, officials warned ADI to leave the country with the animals by 21 January or risk losing them. Organizing a flight like this normally takes weeks, but ADI was racing against time as flight after flight was blocked due to landing and security restrictions on flights from Guatemala. With just days to spare, ADI secured an escape route through Mexico, Belgium, and Qatar.
It seems hard to believe that only last week our rescued Guatemala animals arrived at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa! The last ten days have been a whirl of activity, settling in the animals, letting them become familiar with their new surroundings, and most importantly, reuniting them with their family.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, January 19, the 17 lions and tigers rescued from circuses in Guatemala were loaded onto trucks that would take them to the airport. It marked the beginning of a journey of a lifetime to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa, their forever home.
Following our Home for the Holidays US fundraiser on December 8th and online appeals, we have hit our target to build the travel crates for the 17 lions and tigers rescued from circuses in Guatemala during ADI Operation Liberty and who will be coming home to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary soon!
& TIGERS IN GUATEMALA TAKE A STEP CLOSER TO A NEW LIFE. A new Temporary Rescue Center (TRC), better
climate and closer to the airport, is up and running. The tigers and lions
rescued from circuses by ADI, are safe. We have armed security. This is our launch pad for the final phase of
the rescue, which will see 6 lions and 12 tigers heading to the ADI Wildlife
Sanctuary in South Africa, and 3 tigers to Big Cat Rescue in Florida.