VIDEO. 4 circus lions fly to Africa for a peaceful retirement: a unique transfer

End of several years of captivity for these wild animals. This Monday, February 7, three lionesses and a lion left for South Africa. These felines will enjoy a peaceful and well-deserved retirement in a sanctuary, in complete safety.

A second life awaits these four animals, aged 15 to 17, after being deprived of their freedom for several years. They “worked” in a circus, before being picked up by Tonga Terre d’Accueil in 2018. Located in Saint-Martin-la-Plaine, in the Loire, this association temporarily welcomes monkeys or cats in distress seized from private individuals or circuses. Their flight to the African continent was due to take place in 2020, but the pandemic decided otherwise.

The big departure finally took place on Monday 7 February. Angela, Bellone, Saïda and Louga left Paris for a transfer to Doha, Qatar, before arriving in Johannesburg. Once there, the three lionesses and the lion will join the Bron Free Foundation sanctuary. Felines cannot be released into the wild for safety reasons. Having lived in captivity for too long, they were unable to meet their needs alone and ran the risk of being hunted by poachers.

“The lions will live in fully secured areas. […] In this way they continue to benefit from appropriate care and they benefit from a spacious, natural and protected environment. †

Tonga Land of Welcome

The association shared a video of their departure on social networks. Touching images that mark the beginning of a new life for these wild animals:

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A post shared by Tonga Terre d’Accueil (@associationtonga)

A unique transfer as it is the first time that so many adult felines have left for the African continent.

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