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First Big Cats Saved by US Organization Following Guatemala Circus Ban

– Courtesy photo

A mission to enforce a new law banning the use of animals in circuses in Guatemala is nowunderway, with the US-based organization Animal Defenders International (ADI) removing the first animals–lions Sasha, Nena, and Kimba.


ADI President Jan Creamer said, “Sasha, Nena, and Kimba will no longer suffer in the circus and a new life awaits them in Africa. With many more animals in desperate need of our help, we need the support of the public to save them all.”


Voluntarily giving up its animals, Circo Navarro described its new animal-free status as “a new chapter for the circus”. The lions are now being cared for at an officially designated ADI temporary custody center ahead of their relocation to the organization’s new sanctuary in Africa.


Guatemala’s ban on the use of animals in circuses was passed in April 2017. The circuses were given 12 months to relocate their animals, but around 50 animals remain with circuses, including tigers, lions, monkeys,and pumas.


ADI is working with the authorities (the police, CONAP, UBA) to remove another two lions and nine tigers from a second circus. Following the recent eruption of the Fuego volcano, members of the ADI team have also headed into the disaster zone to help animals with food, care and veterinary treatments.


It is expected to take many months to complete the documentation and permits needed to take animals removed from the circuses to their forever homes, and ADI is seeking urgent funds to construct holding units and to feed,care for, and treat the animals until their relocation. For the lions, this will be a new sanctuary ADI is building in South Africa, their natural homeland; for the tigers, US tiger sanctuaries have offered permanent homes.


Online social cause network has launched a worldwide appeal to help raise the funds needed for the ADI circus animal rescue. Please donate here:


ADI has rescued and relocated hundreds of animals around the world, including over 60 lions and tigers from circuses in Latin America. In Bolivia and Peru, ADI worked with government officials and police to track down and raid every circus, and rescue all of the animals.


A series of special events dedicated to the organization’s rescue work will take place in the UK (June 22), Durham NC (June 27), New York City (June 28), Los Angeles (June 30), and Sedona AZ (July 8). ‘An evening rescuing monkeys and lions’ will feature ADI founders and rescue team leaders Jan Creamer and Tim Phillips, who will host a Q&A, report on the latest rescues and screen an episode of Animal Planet’s new Dodo Heroesseries devoted entirely to an epic ADI rescue mission. For details/ticket bookings: