Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Watering can that was chewed by a lion goes up for auction!

Posted: 20 July 2018. Updated: 23 July 2018

The first ever ‘toy’ enjoyed by Kimba, a lion recently rescued by Animal Defenders International (ADI) in Guatemala, will go to the highest bidder this Sunday, July 22. The aim: To raise funds to help get the lion to his new life in the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa.

“People won’t be buying a chewed-up watering so much as helping to buy a new life for a battered lion,” say ADI.

This Sunday, July 22, at a fundraiser in Los Angeles and simultaneously live on Facebook, people will have the chance to bid on the auction of a one-of-a-kind piece of memorabilia.

ADI is currently assisting the Guatemalan Government to enforce a ban on the use of animals in circuses and has rescued nine tigers and five lions from circuses and is caring for them at the ADI Temporary Custody Center set up for the mission. Over 20 more big cats are still to be removed from Guatemalan circuses.

One of the first rescued lions, Kimba, had lived in a bare circus cage for seven long years, with nothing to amuse him. That all changed the moment he saw his first ‘toy.’

When an ADI carer was topping up his water bowl, Kimba grabbed the spout and would not let go! For the following days it was his prized possession as he steadily demolished the can.

“The joy on Kimba’s face as he systematically destroyed it and the pride with which he sat with it was magical. This was probably the first time he had a toy to play with after seven years in a bare circus cage,” says Jan Creamer, ADI President. “What started out as a simple watering can has become a symbol of ADI’s animal rescue work and how the life of this once abused lion was transforming.”

The watering can has been professionally mounted by California Acrylic Design (CAD), along with images of Kimba steadily mangling the can, signed by his rescuers.

Mike Sperr of CAD says: “We’ve framed Olympic torches, we’ve framed sports jerseys, but this watering can is certainly unique. It’s the most mangled, twisted and hairy thing we’ve ever framed!”

All proceeds from the sale of the can will go towards getting Kimba to his new home at ADI’s new Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa, which will also house other animals rescued by ADI.

Tim Phillips, ADI Vice President, adds: “Forget about signed World Cup shirts: this is a truly unique piece of history. Whoever buys this isn’t just buying Kimba’s toy, they’re buying his future, and they will get something amusing and thought-provoking to display in their home. Kimba’s watering can has also been replaced in his affection by a large log that he hugs and drags around!”

The auction will take place along with a range of other artworks at ADI’s Garden Party on Sunday July 22, in Los Angeles from 4:30 to 7:30pm PST. Details and tickets here.

People can also bid online at the Animal Defenders International Facebook page on the same night from 6:00 to 7:30 pm PST. Bidding will start at $500 – remember you are not so much buying an old watering can as buying a lion his freedom!

Media Contact: Lesley McCave, ADI Communications Director | (323) 935-2234/(323) 804-9920 |

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