Brothers reunited enjoying the new year

Kimba and Tomas see in the New Year basking in the sunshine, amongst the flowers of Augie Habitat at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa. Many of the lions like to spend their mornings up on the platforms or lazing out in the most open parts of the habitats like this. The brothers were recently reunited having been separated as cubs in a circus in Guatemala.

Lions who found friends in 2022

One of the greatest cruelties of captive wildlife is the isolation of the victims. Living without anyone of their own kind. Ending the loneliness is one of our missions and in 2022, we began Operation Lonely Hearts at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary to bring together solitary animals. We saw the magic when Easy, a circus survivor from Colombia (who had lost her sister Shakira) and David, a circus survivor from Peru (who lost his sister Rapunzel) became best of friends. Lion brothers Tomas and Kimba were reunited after being separated as cubs in a circus in Guatemala.

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Brothers together for Christmas

It’s the news we have all been waiting for: Lions Kimba and Tomas are together! The boys were born in the same circus in Guatemala but are not believed to have been together before.

When Guatemala banned animals in circuses, Tomas was handed over to a zoo and a few months later ADI arrived in Guatemala and removed all of the remaining lions from the circus. Kimba would be heading to a new life in Africa but Tomas seemed to have missed out. Then, the ADI Temporary Rescue Unit received a call that the zoo no longer had room for Tomas and he would be dropped off in the next 25 minutes! Space was hastily prepared for him and 18 months later both lions were on a flight to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa.

Months of careful preparation have gone into the integration with the boys rotating in the same spaces, eating, separated, alongside each other and receiving doses of the natural ‘love’ hormone oxytocin before enjoying treats and toys in separate rooms in the house. Once the brothers were released into the same area they quickly settled and slept snuggled up together. They are currently being observed day and night in their feeding camp and house, they have generally stayed close to each other, and will be released into the main Augie Habitat in the coming days.


Tomas and Kimba update

Could these two brothers, who crossed the world to get home to Africa, be on the brink of being reunited?

Born in a circus in Guatemala, they lived their lives at either end of a series of cages on wheels. When Guatemala banned circuses, Tomas was handed to a zoo and Kimba remained with the circus. It turned out to be a lucky break for Kimba who, a few months later, was rescued by ADI as we enforced the ban. Then, Tomas had a lucky break – the zoo decided there was no place for him and with 25 minutes notice, Tomas was dropped at the ADI Temporary Rescue Unit. The boys flew to Africa and the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary.

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Lazy Sunday afternoon with Kimba

Rescued from a circus in Guatemala, Kimba could not look more relaxed, home in Africa at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary. We are currently in the process of uniting Kimba with Tomas who was rescued from the same circus in Guatemala. The boys rotate in different sections of Augie Habitat, and are fed separately, but alongside each other in the lion house. Lions are very sociable and so far it is looking very promising. However, as tranquil as Kimba looks here, lions are powerful animals and so introductions are slow and cautious!

Iron at sunset

As the sun sets over the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa, Iron is on top of his platform and ready to roar out the day with the other lions. Iron is at least 16 years old and was rescued from a circus cage in Colombia eight years ago. For almost his entire life Iron was inseparable from his friend Ojiclaro who sadly passed away due to cancer. Now Iron is part of a programme to slowly introduce him to Bumba who was rescued from the same circus in Colombia. It’s a very gradual process because these are senior male lions, both also recently needed surgery which slowed this process. However, they are eating next to each other, in separate rooms, in their house and rotate in different parts of the habitat. Time will tell if they become close companions or just neighbors.

Lonely Hearts update: David and Easy

Lions David and Easy have been enchanting the whole human population at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, as their bond has grown closer, and they follow each other around the habitat. We love that when they travel up to the end of the habitat, if David is in front, he stops and waits for Easy to catch up. When Easy moves off to explore, she will wait for David, and they do an affectionate head bump.

Lonely Hearts: Rolex, Africa and Kiara

Sometimes you want your own space! ROLEX (10 years) and sisters AFRICA (10) and KIARA (15), rescued from a circus in Peru, have made it clear they like things as they are! In their shared home at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa, they enjoy sitting and even sleeping close to each other on opposite sides of the fence, but don’t want to live in the same space. Although we were able to get the lions together a few times, it was clear that Africa and Kiara are just too close for another to join their group. We are pleased we explored this for several weeks and now understand the relationship the lions like. So, we will split the habitat into two; they can all enjoy a main habitat, platforms, dens, a feeding camp, and night house. They will be right next to each other and can communicate, maybe rub through the fence if they want, but in their own space.

SPECIAL APPEAL – can you donate to give Rolex his own pad, next to his sisters?

Lonely Hearts Update: Iron and Bumba

The process of bringing IRON and BUMBA who were rescued from the same circus in Colombia is underway – previously they were each living at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary with other lions from that circus who have passed away. Initially, The process has been paused this week with Bumba taken into hospital where he has had a small tumour on his lip removed successfully.

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