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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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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Tarzan looking good after surgery

The ‘partial-lip-lift’ performed by veterinary surgeons Dr Peter Caldwell and Prof Gerhard Steenkamp, four weeks ago, has healed. Tarzan was attacked by a tiger in a circus in Guatemala and his lower lip was torn from his face and left dangling from his chin. It healed there. When Guatemala banned animals in circuses, ADI rescued the animals, including Tarzan, and brought him to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa. Although no longer causing him pain, Tarzan’s lip would drag and catch dirt and food. The surgeons did not have enough tissue to work with so could only partially bring the lip back to its correct position, but when you see the last picture of Tarzan, when ADI first rescued him, you can see what a significant difference it has made. We believe that Tarzan is more comfortable and his beloved Tanya thinks he’s just as gorgeous as ever.

Simba sunbathing

Simba basks in the sunshine at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary. Simba is only 14 years old, but his bandy, hind legs which are distorted with arthritis make him look older – it’s a common ailment amongst rescued circus lions due to severe confinement and lack of exercise and living on urine soaked boards for years. Supporters will recall that in January he had a full check up at the sanctuary by Dr Caldwell who undertook one of his regular reviews of Simba’s medication to keep him comfortable. It’s now autumn/fall in South Africa with winter a couple of months away, during which Simba will appreciate the solar powered heated floor in his house in Guibord-Sprague Habitat (we are also adding a heat-lamp for extra warmth this year). Simba is also able to snuggle up with his brother Rey who was rescued from the same circus in Ayacucho in the Andes mountains in Peru. Thankfully Rey A does not have such bad arthritis.

Tarzan and Tanya are home

ADI Wildlife Sanctuary sweethearts Tarzan and Tanya are home, after a stay at the Old Chapel Veterinary Clinic for dental surgery and a partial lip lift for Tarzan. They arrived home just before sunset. Tanya headed out into the habitat while Tarzan settled down in his crate and watched the world go by as it grew dark! That’s ok, he could see Tanya and we are used to Tarzan’s very gentle pace. Tomorrow morning, they can get back to their normal routine.

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Tarzan gets partial lip lift

Many will remember the story of Tanya and Tarzan’s life of confinement and deprivation in a circus in Guatemala, where Tarzan was attacked by a tiger and his lower lip almost torn off – his dear Tanya still carries the scars where she defended him during the fight. Tarzan’s lip healed hanging from his chin after the horrific incident. A week ago, both Tarzan and Tanya had dental work from Dr Gerhard Steenkamp at Old Chapel Veterinary Clinic, and when Tarzan needed a second round of dental work this week, our veterinarian Dr Peter Caldwell took the opportunity to mend Tarzan’s lower lip. Handsome Tarzan has now had what we are describing as a lip lift! Dr Caldwell’s options were limited due to the lack of structure left, so Tarzan still looks his distinctive self, but with less of his lip now hanging down, which should be more comfortable. He is doing well, and the inseparable pair have remained close by each other throughout.

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