UPDATE: FEBRUARY 2022

Angela, Bellone, Louga and Saïda have made it safely to their Forever Home in South Africa after delays caused by COVID. Now we need YOUR help to give them the lifetime care they deserve.

DONATE TODAY TO GIVE THEM CARE FOR LIFE
 

 

UPDATE: JANUARY 2022

We are so sad to announce that Jon the lion has died at his halfway house at Tonga Terre d’Accueil, after a short illness. Emaciated and in terrible health when rescued from a circus in June 2020, Jon had recovered well thanks to our colleagues’ expert care and plans were underway to move him to a wonderful sanctuary in Italy. Although we are sorry Jon never made it to this permanent home, it is such a comfort to know he could enjoy so many months of peace and love. 

GOODBYE TO THE CIRCUS

HELP REWRITE THE STARS FOR FOUR LIONS

Imagine being born in a cage, deprived of any freedom. Your life is spent behind bars, travelling in a beastwagon. Fear of the whip makes you perform demeaning tricks for the public. It’s a world so far detached from what nature intended for you. Sadly, this is the life endured by many wild animals in circuses around the world.

Angela, Bellone, Louga and Saïda are four lions who all shared this miserable existence. They were born in a circus in France and spent their entire lives travelling and performing. Louga was even castrated to make him easier to handle.

These lions have now been rescued but they still need your help. Together we can provide them with a better future.

Unfortunately, many thousands of wild animals are exploited in circuses worldwide. And not just lions. Elephants, tigers, zebras, bears, monkeys and even hippos – to name just a few – are deprived of a life in the wild so that humans can pay to watch them jump through hoops, balance on balls or ride on bicycles. When they’re not in the ring, they’re kept in small, barren beastwagons, or they’re on the road. Unbelievably, only 31 countries have banned the use of wild animals in circuses. In many parts of the world, this outdated show goes on.

Thankfully, the show is over for these four lions. Angela, Bellone, Louga and Saïda were surrendered by the owner of the circus and are currently living in a temporary home in France. It’s been such a long, frustrating wait. But, at last, the lions can get ready to go to their Forever Home in South Africa – the next best thing to the wild.

You can help them enjoy the life they deserve, once and for all. For Angela, Bellone, Louga and Saïda, you can help by giving them the enriched, loving care in their permanent Forever Home at our big cat sanctuary at Shamwari Private Game Reserve, South Africa. 

These lions are so deserving of a dignified retirement.

DONATE TODAY

 

ANOTHER LION RESCUED FROM A FRENCH CIRCUS 

"In all the years I have visited zoos and circuses, I have never seen a lion in such a pitiful, heartbreaking and shameful condition.” - Virginia McKenna OBE, Born Free's Co-Founder & Trustee

This is Jon. Emaciated, declawed, and with barely any teeth, he was rescued in June 2020 from a circus in France where he was being kept illegally in appalling conditions.

Our partner, French animal rescue charity OneVoice, who co-ordinated Jon’s rescue, and French animal rescue centre Tonga Terre d’Accueil will be helping Jon with his long rehabilitation, we are so thankful he is now free from further exploitation.

Born Free had been working on the relocation of Jon the lion and four females which were rescued from the same circus shortly afterwards. That’s nine lions rescued from the Circus in 2020! Since we have last updated you, French animal welfare organisation One Voice has agreed to take this move forward. Jon is doing well, and One Voice are still planning to move him to his lifetime home with the four females. 

We are so pleased that One Voice is securing a bright future for Jon and the lionesses. We are confident that he will continue to recover from his difficult start in life. 

Virginia McKenna OBE, Born Free's Co-Founder & Trustee, said: “In all the years I have visited zoos and circuses, I have never seen a lion in such a pitiful, heartbreaking and shameful condition.

"There are no printable words to express what I feel about all the people who, obviously, cared nothing for him. Allowing this beautiful animal not only to endure hideous captive conditions , but to starve him as well.

"In my view, the perpetrators of this cruelty should receive the strongest punishment. The circus should be closed immediately, all the animals rehomed – never to work in a circus again – and the circus owners and workers banned from owning or working with animals for life. Thanks to both OneVoice andTonga Terre d’Accueil, Jon is now beginning his slow recovery.”

THE SHOW’S OVER

OUR PLANS FOR THE LIONS

Angela, Bellone, Louga, and Saïda are finally being prepped for their final journey to their Forever Home, after living in a temporary home in France.

You can help give them essentials like food and vitamins and provide the loving, specialist care they deserve.

Our highly-experienced relocation team are preparing the lions for their journey and finalising all the necessary health checks and paperwork.

Travelling from France to South Africa by road and air in their own individual travelling crates, they will be carefully monitored at every stage. When they arrive, we’ll introduce them to their new Forever Home – a safe, spacious and natural environment, a world away from the big top. 

DONATE TODAY

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Your gift today will help fund the lifetime care of Angela, Bellone, Louga, and Saïda at our big cat sanctuary at Shamwari Private Game Reserve in South Africa, which is a safe environment for lions and leopards rescued from appalling captive conditions*.

  • £10: Could provide a health enhancing vitamin boost
  • £24: Could provide one day’s food and care for two lions

*Where donations exceed the target, or after the appeal has closed, they will support our vital work to help lions and other wildlife worldwide.

 

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