Dozens Of Lions And Tigers Facing Death, Even Though A Law Was Passed To Free Them

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Kimba, a frightened young male tiger, is beaten and screamed at in an attempt to move him from one crate to another. A circus worker repeatedly hits and yells at the terrified tiger – until he is left bleeding and distressed. Thankfully, someone stepped in to stop the abuse.

Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence for performing circus animals. They are beaten into submission with many missing teeth and claws. Many countries are realizing that performing in a circus is no life for an animal – and passing laws to ban it.

Photo: ADI

Photo: ADI


New Law And Resistance

In April, Guatemala introduced a new law banning the use of animals in circuses. The law was met with praise from most people, however, two of the circus owners in the country refuse to comply. Resulting in roughly 50 lions and tigers awaiting their well-deserved freedom.

A battle has begun between the two circuses and Animal Defenders International (ADI), an international animal protection group, to release the animals. ADI, in partnership with the Animal Rescue Site and GreaterGood.Org, is working relentlessly with local authorities to save the captive animals and enforce the ban. ADI team is working on organizing the rescues, and getting all the necessary paperwork ready.

Photos: ADI

Photos: ADI


The Circo Ponce and Ray Gitano Circus are fighting the ban, and claim that the animals are part of their family. However, their living conditions and quality of life would state otherwise. The circus owners are willing to take legal action to try and keep their animals, but at what cost. The rescue team worries some may die or have to be put down as the battle continues.

The tigers and lions that circuses refuse to surrender are suffering in cramp cages and enduring continued abuse. These magnificent and intelligent animals were forced into performing for the entertainment of humans. Their sad eyes tell a story of loneliness and neglect.

Photo: ADI Lioness receiving fresh water from ADI President, Jan Creamer.

Photo: ADI
Lioness receiving fresh water from ADI President, Jan Creamer.


Jan Creamer, founder and president of ADI, reports on the conditions and process of removing some of the animals. During the removal of the tiger Kimba, she intervened on the abuse and stated, “As usual, they only know of one way of encouraging the animals to move from cage to cage. That is to beat, scream and shout at them.”

ADI rescue team and local officials arrived at Circo Ponce, after they told authorities that they would surrender their circus animals. The four trucks with “freedom crates”, large crates that the animal can live and move in freely, pulled in to rescue all the animals. However, when they arrived they were met with hostility and hurdles.

Click next to read about the intense rescue

Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast who lives in West Michigan. Her horse and 3 dogs are her children. She loves to write and share her knowledge of equine and canine nutrition. In her spare time she likes to volunteer with animal rescues, camp with her husband and dogs, and trail ride with her horse.
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