Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Operation Lion Ark

Posted: 28 May 2012. Updated: 15 October 2015

Life begins for the Lion Ark Prides

At the end of 2010, we completed the rescue of EVERY animal from circuses across the country. We then moved 25 lions to the US in the biggest airlift of its kind. Now these lions are living free, in family prides, in four massive natural enclosures covering 80 acres. Read more… See also here

Rescued lions freed: Five lions walk into Colorado sunshine

Five lions will be freed into the second of four massive natural enclosures at The Wild Animal Sanctuary, highlighting another landmark in the rehabilitation of the 25 lions rescued by ADI. Read more…

Rescued circus lions step out into the sunshine

Eight circus lions, rescued by ADI, that once lived in a stinking, cramped cage on a circus trailer will this week leap into the good life when they are released into a 20 acre natural habitat at The Wild Animal Sanctuary, Colorado. Read more…

The story of Operation Lion Ark

First we exposed the suffering; then we campaigned and secured a ban; and when the first circus closed we took all the animals to a wonderful new life. It turned out that was just the start... Read more

The Lions Are Home!

In an historic world first, ADI has rescued an incredible 25 lions from eight circuses in Bolivia. Watch our diaries and view photos from the rescue here.

Rescue diary: Happy and safe, these lions are about to start a brand new life, free from harm and in a lush, natural environment – watch here

ADI’s Record Breaking Lion Ark Touches Down!

Operation Lion Ark, a rescue that began in Bolivia in November 2010 ended on February 16 when 25 lucky lions touched down at Denver airport. Read more…

Colorado sanctuary ready to receive record-breaking lion airlift

The Lion Ark will touch down at Denver International Airport en route to a fabulous new life for the lions at The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) in Keenesberg, Colorado. Read more…

Rescue diaries:
Final preparations as we construct the lions’ travel crates, and prepare the lions for travel – watch here
Sisters Chitara and Dalila were abandoned by the circus with no food or water – watch here

ADI’s record breaking pride of lions one step closer to flight to freedom

The Lion Ark moved a step closer to take off today when ADI’s vet cleared all 25 lions as being fit to travel. Read more…

Rescue diaries:
India has had almost no contact with other lions – she has lived alone with the circus all her life, but she is already getting to know her new lion neighbours – watch here

Colo and his companions, Muneca and Lulu, are the three lions which have most obviously suffered from circus life. They are extremely aggressive and we believe they have almost certainly been beaten by their previous owner – watch here

Bolivian Companies Back Record-Breaking Rescue by ADI

ADI has been overwhelmed by the amount of support in Bolivia for Operation Lion Ark, which will see 25 rescued Bolivian circus lions taken to a new life in the USA next week. Read more…

Rescue diaries:
Living in a tiny tin box, Kiara’s life away from the circus has changed forever – hear her story here

The circus who owned Pancho and Temuco tried to slip through the net and stop these lions having the future they deserve. But we caught up with them and brought these lions to safety – watch here

Celebrities Pledge Support for ADI Rescue

Hollywood has stepped in with the generous support of Jorja Fox and celebrity TV presenter Bob Barker, whose substantial support has made the project possible so far, as well as a pride of celebrities including Joanna Lumley, Brian Blessed and Twiggy. Read more…

Read more about Jorja Fox’s support for Operation Lion Ark here.

ADI name rescued 8-week lion cubs after benefactors

Three tiny lion cubs saved from an animal circus in Bolivia by ADI have been named after three people who helped make the rescue possible. Read more…

Rescue diary: President Jan Creamer recounts the cubs’ journey to the ADI Compound, and introduces the rest of their family – watch here

ADI plans massive airlift of rescued lions from Bolivia to Colorado

Preparations are underway for what will be a historic and record-breaking animal rescue when 25 circus lions rescued by ADI are relocated from Bolivia to a new home in the US. Read more…

ADI seizes all Bolivian circus lions as animal circus industry shuts down for good

In a series of dramatic seizures all over Bolivia, ADI worked with the Bolivian authorities to remove animals from eight different circuses. Read more…

Rescue diaries:
Meet Kimba, the 25th lion to be saved – watch here and read his story here

By the time Campeon arrived at our compound in Bolivia, he was in a state of total collapse, and it took every effort to revive him and keep him with us – hear his story here

ADI provides clarification on Bolivian ex-circus animal rehoming issue

Following speculation concerning the fate of twenty circus lions looking for a home following the successful Bolivian circus ban, ADI clarifies the situation. Read more… in English and in Spanish

  • Go back to our Stop Circus Suffering Bolivia index page here
  • Read about our global campaign to end circus suffering here
  • Make a donation to support our campaign and investigations here

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