2017 so far, has been about giving animals their voice – spectacled bear Dominga gave voice on her arrival in her new forest home in Peru (number 109 on the Spirit of Freedom rescue, pictured). She is now next door to spectacled bears Cholita, Lucho and Sabina.
In the UK, I attended a meeting with the Prime Minister’s team on animal circuses and the ivory trade on the very same day that yet another Private Member Bill on animal circuses (similar to the government’s bill) was blocked. The five-year wait for the government bill to be introduced is shameful and embarrassing. 95% of the British public are in support and for the 2015 General Election, all major parties promised a wild animal circus ban. Thus 98% of MPs stood on a manifesto promise to end the use of wild animals in mobile shows. In the next two weeks, together with ADI VP Tim Phillips, I’ll be presenting our film Lion Ark in the Italian Parliament and then we will be in the US for the introduction of a bill in the US Congress.
The 60 Minutes crew much enjoyed the lions’ morning song during the interview at ADI’s temporary rescue facility near Lima, Peru – the lions interrupted the interviews and ensured they got the attention they wanted! The CBS team made a special clip:
Lions interrupt 60 Minutes interview
If you are in the US, tonight (7pm ET/PT), the CBS 60 MINUTES show airs their feature on par of ADI’s Spirit of Freedom, about the airlift of the 33 African lions from Colombia and Peru to their native Africa:
Rescued ex-circus lions update
The lions have spent the months since their arrival at Emoya in South Africa, becoming familiar with their new environment in their bonding camps, reconnecting families and friends, new friendships have been made and we have been busy with extensive veterinary and dental work for broken teeth and infected gums, treatments for nerve damage affecting eyesight, balance and tongue control – all the result of blows to their heads in the circuses. ADI is funding veterinary care, food, supplements and other supplies as well as some staff, at around $12,000/month.
Many groups are now out in their 2.5-5 acre circular permanent habitats, living as close to their natural life as we can get. Leo (pictured) is living with his mate Muñeca and daughters Africa and Kiara.
Now, we need to raise another $100,000 to build the permanent habitats for the final family groups. These large-scale rescues have made a huge impact on public awareness as well as helping governments to protect animals and have long-term solutions for animals that cannot be returned to the wild. We must complete the work.
Help us raise the permanent homes for these deserving lions, like Ricardo (pictured):