Angela (C) Tonga Terre d'Accueil
Thank you for choosing to support our work to give four former circus lions a sanctuary home.
The big top is no place for a lion, forced to perform demeaning tricks while music blares and lights flash. No wonder Angela, Bellone, Louga and Saïda, rescued from a circus in France, seem so content at their tranquil temporary home with our Tonga Terre d’Accueil friends in Lyon.
But, this is just the beginning of their journey and, as soon as possible, the four will move to our big cat sanctuary at Shamwari Private Game Reserve, South Africa. “With COVID-19 restrictions beginning to lift, we can start to plan taking Angela, Bellone, Louga and Saïda to their new home,” explains Maggie Balaskas, our acting Head of Rescue & Care. “We have reapplied for final documentation – which had mostly expired due to unforeseen delays – and are now reviewing all the logistical components for the lions’ life-changing journey.”
16-year-old Bellone and Angela, Louga and Saïda – all aged 12 – have been waiting patiently at their temporary home, unaware of the impacts the pandemic has had across the world and our plans.
Feisty Saïda or Louga – the only male – usually instigate play, pestering Angela and Bellone to join in. But recently, dignified Bellone has been the one to insist Angela plays, pawing her tail or gently patting her as she walks past, in the hope of a reaction. Being an amicable soul, Angela happily responds, chasing Bellone or rolling around in a playful wrestle, before collapsing in a heap together to doze off in the sun.
Thanks to you, a new future beckons for Angela, Bellone, Louga and Saïda in the coming months...
Bellone (C) Tonga Terre d'Accueil
Louga (C) Tonga Terre d'Accuei
Saida (C) Tonga Terre d'Accueil