After being chained to the back of a pickup truck amidst rusty circus equipment for two decades, Mufasa the mountain lion finally regained his freedom. This emotional moment of Mufasa being freed by wildlife activists and returned to the Peruvian forest was captured on film.
A rusty pickup truck is no place for any living creature to spend days and nights in. S0, imagine living chained up in a rusty steel truck with no room to move, zero privacy, and constantly being subjected to the whims of others.
As part of a Peruvian roadside circus, Mufasa the mountain lion lived chained up in the back of a rusty pickup truck for 20 years. The full-grown mountain lion sat patiently on the truck, enduring the stares of onlookers, all while being chained up in a cramped, rusted truck bed.
Peru banned wild animals in circuses, but that didn’t stop most circuses from including them in their shows. Mufasa was believed to be the last wild animal to be held captive in a Peruvian circus.
Forced to live in the unnatural habitat where he had limited space to exercise his muscle or to run around, Mufasa looked rather distressed and weak. His face longing for freedom is just heartbreaking. It’s terrible to see the lion, believed to be taken from the wild as a baby, suffer.
Fortunately, in April 2015, Animal Defenders International (ADI), an organization that focuses on animal rescues, came to Mufasa’s rescue.
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After a dramatic eight-hour standoff between ADI and the circus operator that involved riot police in a remote village in northern Peru, the circus—Circo Koreander—was shut down and Mufasa was finally released from his chains.
“He was old and in very poor health. Had it not been for the person who tipped off ADI, he would have died chained in the back of that truck,” ADI wrote in a Facebook post.
Just imagine how light and refreshing it must feel to be finally free of that thick, heavy harness and chains that had wrapped around his neck for two decades?
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The elderly big cat looked seemingly puzzled the moment rescuers cut him free from his chains. His face says it all. He’s in disbelief.
Mufasa was then moved to a temporary cage to be transported to ADI’s Spirit of Freedom rescue center near Lima to rehabilitate.
After Mufasa’s health improved, he embarked on a three-day journey by road and boat to his new home situated on the edge of the Tambopata reserve in the Amazon rainforest.
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However, the mountain lion was totally unsuited to life in the wild. “He had endured too much to be released into the wild, so ADI built him an enclosure at a sanctuary in the Peruvian forest,” ADI explained.
Since then, the big cat lived at the sanctuary in his natural environment where he was cared for by professionals. After being held captive for two decades, Mufasa’s paws could finally feel the soft hay massaging his skin. He could stretch his muscles and sleep soundly on comfortable ground.
“It is magical to see him moving about in and out of the trees in his own piece of protected forest. Mufasa was torn from the wild and has endured the worst possible life,” ADI President Jan Creamer said in a statement posted to the organization’s website.
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Thoughts for gentle Mufasa. Age and the very hard life he endured in the circus are now catching up with dear Mufasa. …
Sadly, just eight months after Mufasa regained his freedom, he passed away in December 2015.
“His life in chains had damaged his health and he was suffering with kidney failure, cancer and other age-related problems,” ADI wrote. “We are so sad he did not enjoy more time in his forest habitat, but the real tragedy would have been if he had never experienced that freedom at all.”
It’s heartwarming to witness the poor circus lion walk to its freedom and return to its true home in the forest. Even if it was only for a few months, Mufasa did get to live the rest of his days the way any wild animal should: in nature, free, and peacefully.
Watch the moment Mufasa finally walked free:
Three years ago today, ADI bounced along a dirt road to a remote village to rescue mountain lion Mufasa. After Peru banned wild animals in circuses, most circuses defied the law. One by one, ADI tracked them down and saved the animals. In a dramatic stand-off, during which riot police were called, Mufasa was cut from his chains. He was old and in very poor health. Had it not been for the person who tipped off ADI, he would have died chained in the back of that truck. He had endured too much to be released into the wild, so ADI built him an enclosure at a sanctuary in the Peruvian forest. Sadly, Mufasa passed away after just eight months of happiness. His life in chains had damaged his health and he was suffering with kidney failure, cancer and other age-related problems. We are so sad he did not enjoy more time in his forest habitat, but the real tragedy would have been if he had never experienced that freedom at all.Help ADI rescue & care for animals like Mufasa:Donate US $ http://bit.ly/ADI-Wildlife-Sanctuary-US Donate UK £ http://bit.ly/ADI-Wildlife-Sanctuary-UK Donate via PayPal / Euros www.ad-international.org/donate
تم النشر بواسطة Animal Defenders International في الأحد، ١٥ أبريل ٢٠١٨
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