Tarzan and Tanya’s story on Valentine’s Day

ADI has been full steam ahead on building our new ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa since we purchased the property last August. So far, we have built 12 enclosures, planted trees, built brick night houses and platforms/shelters for the cats to see the views. We received our permit to operate the sanctuary and have permission for all of our large cats. By the end of this year, our sanctuary will be home to over 40 big cats, rescued from circuses. See our progress at: http://adiwildlifesanctuary.org.za/

At the same time, ADI has been working this past year with Guatemala’s wildlife and animal welfare officials on enforcement of their country’s ban on animal circuses. We have rescued 21 lions and tigers so far, who are being cared for and prepared for export at our Temporary Rescue Center in Guatemala.

Today, we are telling the story of Tarzan and Tanya, two ex-circus lions at our Temporary Rescue Center – let me paint the picture for you – as the sun sets in Guatemala, lions Tanya and Tarzan snuggle up together and Tarzan begins to wash Tanya’s head. These two beautiful, life-long companions express the kind of bond of love that we all recognise on Valentine’s Day – one that has carried them through the toughest of times.

Tarzan and Tanya spent 8 long years in a small, bare circus cage. At some point during that time, Tarzan was in a fight with a tiger. It must have been horrific and very bloody. His lower lip was torn away from his jaw, and still droops down to this day. His untreated, broken, and infected teeth – commonly seen in circus big cats – left Tarzan in constant pain.

As soon as we rescued Tarzan from the circus, we scheduled him for field dental surgery – his transformation was remarkable. Where he had been subdued and cautious, within days his inner kitten emerged and he began to play. The sight of dear Tarzan playing brought tears to everyone’s eyes.

Tarzan’s companion, Tanya, is small, but brave. She is Tarzan’s protector, patrolling to keep others away from him, and it seems likely that the scars on her face are from her trying to defend him during that savage tiger encounter. While she watches over and guards him, Tarzan is a soothing influence on Tanya, calming her if she gets spooked.

With your help this courageous and loyal lion couple love will be spending their next Valentine’s Day roaming a huge natural enclosure at the new ADI Wildlife Sanctuary. We also hope to undertake surgery to repair Tarzan’s lip once he gets to his forever home.

See Tarzan and Tanya’s story: https://www.youtube.com/animaldefenders

I am in Guatemala right now as we work towards the relocation of Tanya and Tarzan and the other lions and tigers to their new homes and provide for all of their urgent needs in our temporary facilities.


Give a Valentine’s Day donation for Tanya and Tarzan’s care and to help them to their new life
Donate US $: https://donate.adiusa.org/guatemala/
Donate UK £: https://donate.ad-international.org/guatemala
You can give the purr-fect gift to the one you love, and adopt Tarzan, Tanya, or one of our other rescued lions, as a gift here:
Adopt US $: https://donate.adiusa.org/adoptalion_liberty
Adopt UK £: https://donate.ad-international.org/adoptalion_liberty