Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Bob Barker backs lucky lions' flight to freedom

Posted: 25 May 2010. Updated: 15 October 2015


Television personality Bob Barker has funded a mercy mission by Animal Defenders International (ADI) to bring four Bolivian circus lions to a new life in California next week.

Last year, Los Angeles-based ADI secured a ban on the use of animals in circuses in Bolivia following a series of exposés of cruelty and is now committed to saving the animals as circuses close down.

The Full Story of the Rescue

Read more on the remarkable journey of how these four ex-circus lions arrived in California after a life in the circus:

With the support of Bob Barker, ADI has completed construction of a state of the art habitat for the rescued lions at ARK2000, the world-renowned sanctuary, run by the Performing Animal Welfare Society in San Andreas, California.

Currently, the lions and a circus baboon are in an ADI quarantine facility in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The baboon is being moved to a UK sanctuary, while the lions will be airlifted to freedom and will touch down in San Francisco next week.

Jan Creamer, President of ADI, who is in Bolivia preparing for the move said: “These lucky lions, who have suffered so much, will step into paradise in California. This important rescue also shows governments our commitment to helping to implement bans on animal circuses. The support of Bob Barker has transformed the lives of these animals and is an investment in the future for animals across the continent. We are incredibly grateful.”

Tragedy struck the rescue mission earlier this month when an elderly lioness named Maiza had to be euthanized following a severe infection. ADI Project Veterinarian Dr. Mel Richardson said, “It is very sad that we had to take this course of action, as we have been working so hard for the past months to give these lions a wonderful new life in the ADI habitat in California. However, it is important to put the welfare of the animal first and Maiza was suffering.”

Jan Creamer said, “We are heartbroken that Maiza will not be enjoying a new life in California with the rest of her family, but we are more determined than ever to get the other lions to their new home safely.”


With legislation to ban animal circuses currently before the Parliaments of Brazil, Colombia, Chile, and Peru, ADI believe the rescue operation is of enormous significance and could signal the eradication of animals in circuses across the continent.

The substantial donation from the former Price is Right star has funded construction of quarantine facilities, the permanent home for the lions in San Andreas, and the journey that will take them to freedom. ADI anticipates relocating more animals in the coming months as the ban is fully implemented.

Bob Barker said, “I am delighted to have helped ADI give these animals a wonderful new life after they have endured so much misery. Circuses are no place for animals, and lions and tigers should not be forced to live in small cages on the backs of trucks, or elephants forced to live in chains in the name of entertainment. Circuses with animals are cruel and archaic. I commend the Bolivian Government for taking this progressive step and hope that other South American countries, and indeed the USA, will follow suit. Next week these animals will start a new life in California and a new era will begin in Bolivia, one without circus suffering.”

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