Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Tigers Max, Simba and Kimba go home for Thanksgiving!

Posted: 21 November 2019. Updated: 21 November 2019


Max, Simba, and Kimba were rescued by Animal Defenders International during Operation Liberty, a mission to help the authorities enforce a ban on the use of animals in circuses in Guatemala.

The three adult male tigers were among a group of 2 lions and 6 other tigers removed from a circus in June 2018. The circus had agreed to voluntarily surrender the animals but in a tense, daylong operation the ADI rescue team endured verbal abuse, and had to halt the operation temporarily when one of the circus workers hit Kimba, leaving him with minor injuries and distressed.


The circus refused to hand over another 6 tigers with Max, Simba, Kimba and the other animals. ADI refused to give up on them and rescued them in November 2018 from a junkyard where they had been living.

Since their rescue, Max, Simba, and Kimba and 18 other ex-circus big cats have been cared for the ADI Temporary Rescue Center in Guatemala, Big Cat Rescue kindly providing financial support for their animals. For the first time they have walked on grass, and enjoyed environmental enrichment including their very own pools!


Their travel permits now granted, Max, Simba, and Kimba are ready to go to their forever home – and you can follow their journey to Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida here!

Find out more about the ADI Operation Liberty mission to enforce the ban on animals in circuses in Guatemala.

Please donate today to help us take the remaining lions and tigers to their forever home at the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary
Donate US $ / Donate UK £ / Donate via Paypal & Euros

Find out more about the ADI Wildlife sanctuary here.

Our thanks to the Guatemalan government for its commitment to enforcing the law and eliminating the use of animals in circuses; to departments CONAP and the animal welfare division (UBA), animal protection group ARCAS, and the Guatemalan army for their support and assistance; and Priority Worldwide Services for helping to make the tigers’ relocation possible.

© Animal Defenders International 2020