The killing of the male lions named Jose and Liso occurred at the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary, South Africa. Two lions freed from circuses were brutally poached in spite of the protection. The incursion highlighted how brazen poachers can infiltrate places like Emoya, which said it has 24-hour security and armed patrols and has taken additional measures to protect its property in Vaalwater, in northern South Africa. The skinned and mutilated corpses of lions indicate the poachers took heads, tails and paws to sell to witch-doctors.
Forensic experts have visited the sanctuary, which is currently closed to visitors and volunteers.
“Everyone at Animal Defenders International and Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary is heartbroken and devastated that two ADI family members, two of our rescued lions, have been murdered in an evil attack.
“This cowardly killing of two innocent souls, sweet, elderly lions, one of whom had suffered brain damage from blows to the head in the circus, must not be left unpunished,” – says the issued press-realise of ADI.
A Spanish circus has agreed to hand over all its animals to end using them in performances. The two lions from the circus have since been rehomed at the AAP Primadomus Foundation, located near Alicante.
This is considered an unprecedented step forward in a country which is believed to have 10 registered circuses with wild animals. The news has been welcomed by Infocircos, a consortium of NGOs, that seeks an abandon the use of wild animals in circuses throughout Spain.
To date, the work of InfoCircos has successfully secured a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, with another six regional governments considering a ban, and more than 400 municipalities that no longer allow circuses the use of either public or private land. InfoCircos still has much work to do, but it is important that it remains part of the solution to abandoning the wild animal use in circuses, encouraging and supporting the circus businesses that wish to relinquish their animals and become a friendly show without cruelty upon wild animals.
“There is still a lot of work to be done to ensure Spain joins the 18 other EU countries that prohibit the use of wild animals in circuses,” said Daniel Turner at the Born Free Foundation. “However, the work of InfoCircos continues to go from strength to strength.”