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Biggest Airlift in History Returns 33 Circus Lions to Africa

By Anna Starostinetskaya | April 29, 2016

“Operation Spirit of Freedom” to take 33 lions from 10 circuses in Peru and Colombia back to their native land in Africa.

Animal Defenders International (ADI) will orchestrate the biggest airlift in history today by transporting 33 lions from 10 Peruvian and Colombian circuses to Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa. Thanks to the the efforts of ADI—an animal rescue organization founded by husband-and-wife team Tim Phillips and Jan Creamer—several countries, including Peru and Colombia, have imposed bans on the use of wild animals in circuses. The organization—which has rehabilitated and relocated more than 100 former circus animals under Operation Spirit of Freedom—is chartering a Boeing 747 for the airlift to transport 24 ex-circus lions from Peru and nine from Colombia with an ADI veterinary team to the South African sanctuary. Once…

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