Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Animal Defenders International's mission to save circus animals in Guatemala

Posted: 7 January 2019. Updated: 7 January 2019


Animal Defenders International (ADI) educates and campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment and other industries. Growing evidence that the suffering caused to wild animals by constant travel, severe confinement, and an unnatural lifestyle has prompted authorities and governments around the world to end their use.

Our Stop Circus Suffering campaign in South America led to the historic ban on animal circuses in Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru, and we successfully relocated former circus animals from those countries to sanctuaries.

Now, since Guatemala passed a ban on animals in circuses in April 2018, ADI has been helping enforce the ban. With a team on the ground, we have negotiated the handover of 15 lions and 6 tigers - these 21 big cats are in our care at the ADI Temporary Custody Center. Now, just one circus in Guatemala, with around 15 animals, is defying the law. ADI HOPES TO RESCUE EVERY ANIMAL.

Of those rescued so far, ADI plans to take the lions to our new ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa, and the tigers will be going to sanctuaries in the US. It can take many months to secure the paperwork to move the animals, which is why we have built exercise enclosures for our lions and tigers, to keep them healthy and entertained. ADI also organized veterinary teams and supplies necessary for health protocols and microchipping prior to export.

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This rescue is complicated and comes at the same time as we are establishing our own sanctuary! The prize will be another country emptied of suffering circus animals, and the opportunity to transform the lives of up to 40 animals.

Watch as the first 9 tigers and 2 lions are rescued!

© Animal Defenders International 2019