ADI’s Operation Spirit of Freedom rescued around 110 wild animals from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade in Peru and Colombia. After a terrible life of suffering and abuse in the circus, I met the sweet, elderly ‘special needs’ lions José and Liso whilst working at ADI’s temporary custody facility in Peru. Here they transformed from fearful, stressed and unhappy lions to confident, playful and content beings.
Devastatingly, a year after being moved to a sanctuary in South Africa, a gang broke into the sanctuary and killed our dear boys. They were poisoned by the intruders, then skinned and their heads, tails and feet removed. The autopsy confirmed that José and Liso ingested a huge amount of poison and died very quickly. Their body parts were removed after death.
I am running in honour of these innocent lions, raising money for the José and Liso anti-poaching fund. The money will help to pay for increased security, including armed guards, to protect our remaining lions and investigation to get the other poachers and bring them to justice.