Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Chilean circus animals rescued after earthquake

Posted: 22 March 2010. Updated: 17 April 2015


On the morning of February 27 a devastating earthquake hit the central and southern part of Chile.

One of the epicentres was the coastal town of Iloca, where circus “Los Montini” was set up. The circus was close to the beach and featured lions, baboons and a tiger.

According to press reports, once the earthquake started circus staff fled to safety, however some of the animals were left on the coast and hit by the waves. The lions survived but their cage was left stranded on the beach with sea water invading the animal’s living space. The circus facilities were destroyed.

Despite the adverse conditions, ADI’s Chilean campaigning partners Ecopolis organised relief efforts for the rescue of lions, working together with the governmental agency “Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero (SAG)”. According to SAG the circus owners agreed to hand over their animals, for a two month period, to be relocated in different zoos in the country. An elderly lioness called “Suzy” was donated to the Ecopolis by the zoo.

Suzy, the lioness, a tiger and the baboons were relocated in the Safari Park of Rancagua; three lions were transferred to Buin Zoo; two lions were relocated to the Serena Zoo in Coquimbo and another lion in the Lampa Zoo. Media reports mention that a pregnant lioness escaped the site and was killed later on by the Police.

ADI South America is working very hard gathering all the information on all circus animals that were affected by the earthquake to assess the situation and provide technical support. Unfortunately due to the extent of the damage, communication with Chile has been difficult in the past few weeks.
ADI will continue lobbying the bill to ban the use of animals in circuses (amendment of Law No. 20.216) that is currently being discussed in the Chilean Congress. ADI will leverage the passage of the bill, to prevent the circus from reclaiming the animals from the zoos after the two month period is over and to provide a long lasting solution to end the use of animals in circuses in Chile.

© Animal Defenders International 2019