Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Farewell Dactari

Posted: 11 December 2012. Updated: 15 October 2015


It is with great sadness that we pass on the news that ADI’s dear Dactari has passed away a wonderful good natured lion who loved life and enjoyed nothing more than playing with his companions Bambek and Simba, then falling asleep in a big heap with them.

ADI supporters will be aware that Dactari was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in October. His medications carefully hidden in favorite food treats, made him feel better, delayed the inevitable, and gave him some quality time. His carers doted on him, installing a special drinking fountain, and making a great big “nest” of hay every night. Bambek, and especially Simba, were always close by and all three boys slept in a big cozy pile every night. The enduring images of these three relaxed lions is them playing together and then falling asleep in a big pile.

Sadly over the past week Dactari’s condition deteriorated and he was no longer getting relief from his medicine. It was decided to put him to sleep and he passed away peacefully and without fear or distress.


Dactari was one of the original Bolivian Pride, the first four lions ADI rescued after Bolivia banned animal circuses. Although he was from the only circus that voluntarily handed over their animals, it was a difficult relocation but paved the way for Operation Lion Ark. After weeks of delays the lions finally flew to the US and arrived in the early hours at PAWS ARK2000 Sanctuary where ADI funded their enclosure and care. The three boys, Dactari, Bambek and Simba (and female Camba) bounding from their travel crates and playing was one of the most joyous sights we have ever witnessed on a rescue.

His time in the sunshine was too short two and a half years but far worse would have been to die never having felt the grass beneath his feet, being able to run and jump, and look up to the sky without seeing bars.

Halcyon days remembered as the lions settled in to their new home - watch here

Watch the complete video diaries of Dactari’s rescue

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