LOS ANGELES--()--Animal Defenders International (ADI) has been overwhelmed by the amount of support globally for Operation Lion Ark, which will see 25 rescued Bolivian circus lions taken to a new life in the USA next week. The lions were seized from circuses all over Bolivia in moves to enforce Bolivia’s ban on animal circuses (law 40/40).
Today, ADI announced that the lions will be flying with Transportes Aereos Bolivianos (TAB), the Bolivian civil cargo transport airline, with a single DC10 taking all of the lions in what will be a record-breaking airlift. TAB, who has worked with ADI on two previous lion moves, gave a generous discount on the price of the flight to help make the mercy mission possible.
Transport specialists ON Group are undertaking the ground handling at Viru Viru airport, Santa Cruz, free of charge, including logistics and loading the crates onto the aircraft known as “The Lion Ark”. A week ago ON provided discounted services to assist ADI to move Kimba the lion from Tarija to Santa Cruz in order for him to join the Lion Ark.
ADI plan to fly all of the lions to Denver, Colorado next week, with the Lion Ark landing at Denver International Airport (DIA). The Airport has been extremely supportive assisting with the coordination and logistics required for this massive effort. United Airlines has generously donated the use of their hangar facility for the arrival of the Lion Ark. ADI has funded new facilities at The Wild Animal Sanctuary who have provided 80 acres for the lions’ new home.
Jan Creamer: “Next week we will be making history with this lion flight and it has been made possible by the enormous support here in Bolivia for the rescue mission known as Operation Lion Ark. We have had support from the DGB, SENASAG, the Santa Cruz Governor’s Office, Mayor Percy, Congress, and the police – who this week have increased their patrols at the Lion Ark compound to ensure the mission goes smoothly. The have also been many other kind gestures from individuals. Today I would like to give a special thank you to TAB and ON who will be ensuring that the lions make their incredible journey.”
Patrick F. Seoane Leyton, Director of ON GROUP said: “ON Group is very pleased to be in charge of logistics and transport of Animal Defenders International (ADI) Operation Lion Ark. These rescued circus lions will have a new and better life at the sanctuary designated by ADI in the US. ON Group is part of this operation by contributing to the cause by liaising and facilitating the means for ADI to successfully relocate these lions in a suitable and appropriate habitat. We feel highly committed and motivated to care for our environment, in line with our Human, Social and Corporate Responsibility, by providing our services and professionalism.”
Tomás Quispe, spokesperson of TAB said: “Transportes Aereos Bolivianos, a Bolivian state-owned company, is very pleased to be a part of ADI’s Operation Lion Ark. After the approval of Law 4040, banning the use of animals in circuses, ADI stepped up to relocate these animals to their natural habitat and TAB is proud to be able to provide air transport services, taking these animals to their new home where a new life awaits them. We are reaffirming our social commitment by participating in this great cause.”
ADI plan to start loading the lions on February 15th with take-off planned for early February 16th.
To learn more about this amazing story of triumph over adversity and make a donation to help with the rescue effort, visit www.savethelionsappeal.com, or call (323) 804-9920.
About Animal Defenders International
With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogotá, Animal Defenders International campaigns to protect animals in entertainment; replacement of animals in experiments; worldwide traffic in endangered species; vegetarianism; factory farming; pollution and conservation. ADI also rescues animals in distress worldwide. ADI-gathered evidence has led to campaigns and legislative action all over the world to protect them.
To educate, create awareness, and promote the interest of humanity in the cause of justice, and the suppression of all forms of cruelty to animals wherever possible to alleviate suffering, and to conserve and protect animals and the environment.