Breaking! 3 Bengal Tigers Rescued By Animal Defenders International Are En Route To Their New Forever Home At Big Cat Rescue In Florida

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Photos from Animal Defenders International

There is more to be thankful for this week as Bengal tigers Max, Simba, and Kimba arrived this morning in Florida after being rescued from a circus in Guatemala, where Animal Defenders International (ADI) has been helping the authorities enforce a ban on wild animal acts. The big cats are the first to be relocated to their forever homes at Big Cat Rescue (BCR) in Tampa, Florida. 

“Max, Simba, and Kimba are going home for Thanksgiving, and we could not be happier for them,” Jan Creamer, President of ADI said in an email sent to WAN. “We are extremely thankful to everyone who has helped make this rescue possible, giving Max, Kimba, and Simba, and the other animals we have rescued from circuses in Guatemala a better and more natural life and receiving the lifelong and specialist care they need.”

ADI and Creamer, who are accompanying the trio of tigers to their new home, are providing live updates on the organization’s Facebook page throughout the day.

“Big Cat Rescue is thrilled to become the permanent home for these three former Guatemalan circus tigers,” stated Carole Baskin, Founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue. “Big cats should not be forced to perform tricks and unnatural behaviors in circuses. We applaud Guatemala for banning wild animals in circuses and look forward to the day when all countries have ended this cruel, inhumane practice.”

46 countries around the world have introduced prohibitions on animals in circuses to date. Given the constant travel and their temporary nature, circuses cannot provide animals with adequate facilities to keep them physically or psychologically healthy. Their welfare is always compromised. Animals in circuses can also be subjected to brutal training methods and violence, wherever ADI has conducted an undercover investigation in the U.S. and around the world, it has documented acts of abuse.

In the U.S., 96 bans in 32 states­, plus three statewide bans, exist, while a federal bill to end the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling shows nationwide, The Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA, HR2863/S2121), is gaining bipartisan support. Peace 4 Animals is among the many animal welfare organizations that support TEAPSPA.

Kimba, Max, and Simba, along with two lions and six other tigers, were rescued by the organization from Circo Hermanos Ponce in June of 2018.

“Today, we will savour freedom day for Simba, Kimba, and Max, and then get back to the challenge of relocating the remaining 17 tigers and lions rescued from circuses in Guatemala to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa,” ADI shared in a post this morning.

The government of Guatemala banned the use of animals in circuses in 2017. After the new law came into effect 12 months later, ADI launched Operation Liberty in May 2018 and quickly established a temporary rescue center in the country to care for the rescued animals until they could be relocated to their forever homes.

During the 18-month long operation, ADI rescued a total of 15 tigers and 6 lions. At ADI’s temporary rescue center, all of the animals have received veterinary care and some emergency treatment, including dental surgery to repair painful, damaged teeth.

While Max, Kimba, and Simba are settling into their new home, the other big cats will be relocated to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa which is already home to 25 lions that the organization rescued from circuses in Peru and Colombia.

To help ADI fly the remaining big cats to their sanctuary in South Africa, please consider making a donation HERE!

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