9 lions rescued from clandestine Colombian circus to be relocated in the US

Posted on Jul 15 2014 - 8:23am by Today News
(Photo: Vanguardia)

Nine malnourished lions that were rescued from a clandestine circus in northeast Colombia will be relocated to The Wild Animal Sanctuary outside of Denver, Colorado in the United States, according to national media. 

Three female and six male lions in varying states of malnutrition were rescued in Piedecuesta, a town in the northeastern Colombian state of Santander, in early July following an inspection of the circus, reported Colombia’s El Espectador newspaper.

“Last Sunday, the first step was taken, so that the six lions and three lionesses from the Africa Circus could be brought to the sanctuary of fauna and flora in Denver, United States,” said animal rights’ spokesman Orlando Beltran Quesada.

Contributing to the lions’ declining health were “missing teeth due to malnutrition, tiny cages, the climatic conditions they were exposed to, the putrid odor of leftover food that was not cleaned up, and the torments they were subjected to during the evenings,” according to Quesada.

“We have been involved in the protection of the health and life, as well as the dignity of these animals that were found unprotected, dehydrated, and malnourished,” said Ludwing Arley Anaya, director of the Corporation for the Defense of the Bucaramanga Plateau.

Until the lions are transported to the US, they will remain at Hacienda Napoles, the former ranch of Colombia’s infamous deceased drug lord Pablo Escobar, which has since been converted into a theme park.

The estimated cost of maintaining the lions in good health is approximately $8,000 per month, according to El Espectador.

The Wild Animal Sanctuary is located just outside of Denver, Colorado and is situated on 720 acres of rolling grassland where extremely large habitats allow the animals to run free and play with others of their own species, according to the sanctuary’s official website.


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