Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Elsa Rescue Update

Elsa before the first stage of her rescue (c) Born Free
Before the first stage of her rescue (c)BFF
At the rescue centre
Elsa happy at the rescue centre (c)BFF/LAV

“She lies alone in her empty cage - just a few square metres of featureless concrete and a couple of handfuls of straw, plus a dilapidated ‘beast-wagon’, nothing more than a converted rusty lorry. She should be in her prime, living with her close-knit family in the wild, but this mournful lioness lives all on her own, desperately frustrated in her miserable prison.”

Thankfully, and thanks to your support, Elsa was seized from Martin Circus in Sardinia in October 2014 by the Italian authorities and temporarily signed over to the care of the Born Free Foundation.

With Born Free’s support, Elsa now lives at the Semproniano Rescue Centre in beautiful Tuscany, under the expert care of Marco Aloisi (Owner, Director and trained vet). This 25 hectare Centre is run in collaboration with our long term Italian partners LAV and offers short term care or long term homes to animals seized or confiscated as the result of court cases throughout Italy.

Since her arrival Elsa has been doing well and enjoying the proper outdoor space she was denied for so long. However, when she arrived at the centre there was very little space so she was sharing her outside space on rotation with another lion (also there as a result of a court case).

Therefore, in order to provide Elsa with more permenant outdoor space Born Free constructed a night room to accompany a large existing enclosure, and, earlier this month, Elsa made her first tentative steps into her vast new space with stunning views and plenty to explore. The move went very smoothly and without incident, still in roaring distance to the other lions at the centre but with the space and tranquillity she deserves we hope that Elsa will enjoy her new enclosure. In future, this enclosure will be used as a half-way house for other Born Free rescues in Italy enabling us to help more animals in need.

The courts decided to seize the animals from Martin Circus (including Elsa) so far in advance of the start of this court case, which commenced in July 2015 and could take up to 18 months, for their welfare. There are now two real possibilities that we need to prepare ourselves for. The court could agree that the animals in Martin Circus were mistreated and therefore we are able to move her to Shamwari to live the remainder of her days in the African sun. Or they could rule that she be returned to the circus. LAV’s legal team is representing all the animals in court and fighting for their permanent confiscation - and we will assist to the best of our ability.

the rescue centre (c)BFF/LAV
Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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