Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Building a Californian home for lions

Posted: 31 March 2010. Updated: 31 March 2010


Progress on the ADI enclosure for the Bolivian lions

Attending the Summit for Elephants at the ARK2000 Sanctuary in Caleveras County, ADI USA President Jan Creamer and Vice President Tim Phillips took time out to review progress on the spectacular enclosure that will house the five circus lions ADI is rescuing in Bolivia.

ADI is funding the construction of this new facility and will fund the care of the lions for the rest of their lives. In addition, ADI has already committed heavily to the construction of quarantine facilities in Cochabamba, Bolivia for both the lions and baboon and will be financing the move of these animals to the USA and UK respectively. Please send a donation to help this incredible rescue operation.


The lions and baboon were handed into the care of ADI after animal circuses were banned in Bolivia following a hugely successful ADI campaign.

We immediately contacted our friends Pat Derby and Ed Stewart of the Performing Animal Welfare Society to see if they would take the animals at ARK2000 – renowned as the finest elephant sanctuary in the world and also home to some 35 tigers. They said yes, and now, a beautiful new home for these animals who have suffered so much is now well underway.

Perched atop and running down the side of a hill that will afford the lions wonderful views across the lush countryside, this will be heaven for the lions. The site is currently a blur of activity with oxyceteline torches sparking and the sound of angle grinders floating across the valley. In the not too distant future it will be the roar of lions rippling down the valley.


Construction of the night quarters and feeding pens are nearing completion.

These enable all of the lions to be separated and each has an individual den, these have been constructed low from blocks and sheet metal and allow the lions to climb on top and look out from this high vantage point. Sliding and drop doors operated from the outside enable safe control of the animals.

The night quarters and feeding pens alone will provide the animals with more space than they have ever enjoyed: however the real treat is the massive natural enclosure attached to them.

Each pen has a door giving access to the large outdoor enclosure. This is natural grass with several trees and shrubs and will also include some additional environmental enrichment, wit several huge logs already moved into place. The enclosure will have an external sprinkler system along the perimeter, so that it does not become completely parched in the Californian summer.

Concrete foundations for the perimeter fence have been laid and the uprights that will support the fence tower up around the lions’ grassy paradise. The next stage will be attaching the huge fence that will keep the lions safe and sound inside.

You can also:

© Animal Defenders International 2019