Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Operation Spirit of Freedom lions to get new home

Posted: 24 June 2015. Updated: 4 July 2015


The 33 lions rescued by ADI during Operation Spirit of Freedom in Peru and Colombia will not be re-homed to The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) in Colorado.


In a joint statement issued today, ADI and TWAS say: “As a result of changes in critical circumstances, ADI and TWAS determined that they could not meet each other’s needs with respect to this rescue, and ultimately concluded that for the sake of the animals first and the two organizations second, it was better for ADI and TWAS to pursue more conducive alternatives.” Read full statement

In a year long, multi-target rescue like Operation Spirit of Freedom, it is not unheard of for circumstances to change and for destinations of animals to be reviewed and changed. With many different species involved and their different needs, ADI was already committed to relocating animals to six different destinations.

We have already begun the process of securing our perfect home for the lions and the Spirit of Freedom Flight will be re-routed accordingly.

Whilst TWAS will no longer be part of this rescue, ADI’s Operation Spirit of Freedom continues and we are entering the most exciting phase – ensuring there are no animal circuses left in Peru with the final series of animal collections coming soon – and relocating our precious rescued animals to their forever homes.

The next weeks will see exciting developments as we work on the new homes for Cholita the real-life Paddington bear (and hopefully a companion Spectacled bear) and Mufasa the mountain lion.

Everyone who has followed this rescue mission will recognize the enormous complexity and hard work involved in achieving this level of success. We are determined to save these animals that we all love so much – no one will be left behind. It has been tough and exhausting, but we are committed to victory and we will never let these animals down.

We have already relocated over half of the animals ADI has rescued during Operation Spirit of Freedom, please keep backing this important rescue mission as we race to the finish line. This may not be the last challenge we face, but we promise you when we leave Peru we will have completely dismantled the wild animal circus industry and the animals who suffered so much will be having the time of their lives! Then Colombia beckons…..

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