Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Senator to host free LION ARK screening to celebrate launch of PA bill to end wild animal circus act

Posted: 22 April 2015. Updated: 10 July 2015

APRIL 21, 2015, PHILADELPHIA, PA: Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) is celebrating the launch of state-wide legislation to end the use of wild animals in traveling circuses by hosting a free screening of LION ARK on April 25th at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute. The multi award-winning film tells the amazing story of how Animal Defenders International (ADI) secured a ban on animal circuses in Bolivia and set about rescuing every animal after circuses defied the law, taking 25 lions to freedom in the United States.

Announcing the introduction of the new bill to ban wild animals from circuses in PA, Senator Leach stated: “Every day, more and more people from all over the world realize that animals do not belong in circuses. Please join me and Animal Defenders International for a special screening of their uplifting film, LION ARK, and find out how we can finally free circus animals from their cages.”

Senator Leach will be joined by ADI rescue leaders LION ARK Director Tim Phillips and Producer Jan Creamer to give the inside scoop on animal circuses and why legislation is urgently needed to protect animals, during a question and answer session after the screening. Phillips and Creamer are flying in to attend the special screening from Peru where they are rescuing wild animals from circuses after a ban was passed. Animal Defenders International has rescued over 70 animals during its ‘Operation Spirit of Freedom’ mission. In the coming weeks they will fly 35 big cats and a bear to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, where the LION ARK prides now live in peace.

ADI is working closely with Senator Leach’s office to progress the new bill, providing research and evidence of how traveling circuses are unable to provide for the animals and fail to protect citizens from inherent risk.

Animal Defenders International General Counsel Christina Scaringe said: “We commend Senator Leach for taking a stand against the outdated use of wild animals in traveling circuses through the introduction of this much-needed legislation. Across the US and in countries around the world, people are becoming aware of the restricted lives and often abuse that animals in circuses are subjected to. We hope Pennsylvania will join the 23 US states that have already brought in measures to prohibit wild animal acts.”

Described as “uplifting” and “the feel-good movie of the year”, critically acclaimed LION ARK has taken the festival circuit by storm, winning ten awards at sell out screenings and securing an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding International Motion Picture. Its eclectic soundtrack features “Bad Reputation” by Pennsylvanian artist Joan Jett who is an outspoken proponent of animal protection campaigns, including performing animals.

LION ARK Director Tim Phillips said: “LION ARK takes you as close as you can get to the animals and is a real rollercoaster ride which will have you cheering for the lions as rescuers defy the odds to save them from the circus and bring them to freedom.”

DATE: Saturday April 25th 11am
VENUE: Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 W Lancaster Ave, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19019
TICKETS: For FREE tickets, send your name, address and requested number of tickets to

DATE: Thursday April 23rd at 7pm
VENUE: Ritz 5, 214 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Question and answer session with LION ARK Director and Producer

DATE: Sunday April 26th 10am
VENUE: Ambler Theater, 108 E Butler Ave, Ambler, PA, 19002
Question and answer session with LION ARK Director, Producer and Senator Leach

For more information and to watch the trailer, visit

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Office of Senator Daylin Leach Steven A. Hoenstine 717-787-5544 (w) 717-683-3110 (m)
ADI Media Desk 323-804-9920
Lori De Waal 818-817-4444

Images of animals in circuses and LION ARK high resolution stills and broadcast quality one minute clips available on request

LION ARK trailer embedded from

LION ARK available to view by request (official release, October 2014)

Background – worldwide movement to end use of wild animals in traveling shows
Evidence of the suffering caused to wild animals by constant travel, severe restrictions on movement and unnatural lifestyles has prompted authorities and governments around the world to end their use.

National restrictions on performing animals in traveling circuses, either wild or all animals, have been enacted in 31 countries – Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, and Taiwan. Similar laws are under discussion in the US, UK, Brazil, and Chile.

LION ARK Awards & Acknowledgements
Winner People’s Choice Award Boulder International Film Festival
Winner Audience Award Buffalo Niagara International Film Festival
Winner Audience Choice Best Documentary San Diego Film Festival
Winner Best Documentary Omaha International Film Festival
Winner Audience Choice Environmental Film Sedona International Film Festival
Winner Audience Favorite Documentary Palm Beach International Film Festival
Winner Best Documentary The Mississippi Film & Music Festival
Winner Best Documentary Alhambra Theatre Film Festival
Winner Animal Award Cinema Verde Environmental Film & Arts Festival
Audience Choice Best Documentary Anchorage International Film Festival
Nominated: Outstanding International Motion Picture, 45th NAACP Image Awards

LION ARK reviews

About Animal Defenders International
With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing behind-the-scenes suffering in the industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals and educates the public.

© Animal Defenders International 2019