Four lions who spent years in cages in traveling circus take first steps to freedom

They now get the best food for their health and growth, and they are at the right temperature to keep them safe and healthy.


Being given the chance to live in their natural habitat, animals thrive. The truth is that the nature is the only place where wild animals should spend their days. Sadly, a huge number of them end up locked up and are used for profit by people.

Circuses are the places many people find amusing. But as we think of the fun we have while watching wild animal perform different acts, we often forget about the suffering they go through. Zoos aren’t much different. Sadly, it looks like many of us don’t care.

The captivated animals who end up at such places pay the ultimate price. Luckily, it seems like that as years go by, humans’ awareness about wild animals is growing more and more. A number of animal advocates and organizations are speaking up about the animals’ rights and they do make a change in the lives of these creatures.

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The following story is a very inspiring one. It speaks of the happy ending four lions who were bread in captivity got after they were rescued.

Angela, Bellone, Saïda, and Louga spent all their lives performing at a circus where the living conditions were far from ideal. These wild cats were undernourished and depressed and were forced to move from one place to another.

Then, in 2018, their lives changed forever. These magnificent animals were freed by the Born Free Foundation.

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From the start, the plan was to sent them to South Africa, but that wasn’t as simple as it sounds. Since they were born in captivity and were very fragile, the four lions needed time to heal and get used to a different kind of life. While they stayed at a sanctuary in France, they learned a number of things that would help them be prepared for their lives in their natural habitat.

Sadly, due to the pandemic, their transfer was delayed for a couple of years.

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Finally, in February 2022, Angela, Bellone, Saïda, and Louga were transported to South Africa where they will stay at Shamwari Private Game Reserve. There, they are free to run and get to bond with other lions, too. The reserve would serve as a transition as they slowly adjust to their new environment.

“The sights, sounds, and scents of their fellow rescued big cats will heighten their senses immediately as they begin to acclimatize to their new lives. They are now in their forever home in Africa,” Born Free Manager Catherine Gillson told BBC News.

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The moment they were released from the cages and smelled the fresh air while they cautiously stepped on the Africam soil was caught on a video which you ca see below.

We are forever thankful to the beautiful humans who made these lions’ dreams of being freed come true.