Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

ADI rescues lions and monkeys in dramatic circus raid in Peru

Posted: 13 March 2015

Rescue team catches circus after public tip off

MARCH 13, 2015, Piura, Peru - Animal Defenders International (ADI) and Peruvian authorities SERFOR, ATFFS, the National Police and department of Piura have successfully raided an illegal circus today, rescuing three lionesses and two monkeys as part of a collaborative effort to enforce the country’s ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

ADI has now removed 24 lions from Peruvian circuses and has in its care almost seventy animals rescued during ADI’s Operation Spirit of Freedom.

ADI urged members of the public to be vigilant for any circuses defying the law. Following a tip off, ADI has been trailing the circus for over a week while liaising with the authorities in preparation for today’s seizure.

Early this morning the circus suddenly moved with vehicles leaving in different directions but thanks to an ADI team the vehicle with the animals was stopped just outside Sullana, just north of Piura.

The three lionesses called Africa, Kiara and Muneca, and two monkeys, Valeria and Valentino, are on their way to the ADI Operation Spirit of Freedom rescue center near Lima, where they will join the 21 lions, 31 monkeys and other wild animals who have been saved from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade during the groundbreaking rescue mission. A further nine lions are in ADI’s custody in Colombia.

ADI will be relocating all of the animals to their permanent homes in the coming weeks. Native wildlife will be rehomed in jungle habitats, which are being constructed by ADI in the Peruvian rainforest, at Pilpintuwasi in Iquitos and IkamaPeru. A total of 33 lions, including 9 from a circus in Colombia, will fly on the biggest airlift of its kind to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in the US.

ADI President Jan Creamer said “The ADI mission has always been to ensure no animals are left behind. We are elated to have saved these animals today and they will get their chance of a new life on the ADI Spirit of Freedom flight. We will remain vigilant. There should be no wild animals in circuses so if anyone sees one - they should call ADI."

Jan continued: "this is a historic day for Peru as ADI, SERFOR, the ATFFS and police have shown wild animal acts have no place in modern society and will not be tolerated."

The ban on the use of wild animals in circuses in Peru was secured after a five-year campaign by ADI and Peru’s animal protection groups, following its shocking two-year investigation of South American circuses. The investigation led to five national bans on wild animals in circuses in Latin America - worldwide 30 countries have banned wild animal acts.

Efforts by ADI to stop circus suffering in Peru and enforce the law have been supported by the public and local animal organizations including United for Animals (UPA), Amazon Shelter, Peruvian Association of Animal Protection (ASPPA) and Animals Without Borders (ASF).

ADI is funding all rescue operations in Peru and the huge cost of relocating the animals - the largest single cost will be the flight to the USA.

Jan Creamer: "This is a wonderful day but it meant bringing our rescue team and trucks loaded with cages up to Piura. Tonight our precious cargo will be traveling back to Lima where we will have five more mouths to feed and three more travel crates to build. We urge people to please donate to help this mission.

http://www.ad-international.org/FreedomAppealUS

US Contact:
Lori De Waal: 818-817-4444 e: lori.dewaal@dewaalpr.com
ADI Media Desk: 323-804-9920 e: mediadesk@ad-international.org

UK contact
Fleur Dawes 020 7630 3344 or 07785 552548 prdesk@ad-international.org

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