King Arthur: USDA-Enforced Zoo Closure--- King Arthur was the lone African Lion in one of 18 animals facing an uncertain future when a Nebraska zoo was shut down by the USDA due to animal abuse and safety violations. Undernourished and underweight, Arthur was doing his best to survive the cold Nebraska winters. Now living life “fit for a king” at TWAS, King Arthur enjoys being with other lions in the habitat, and gives an occasional friendly “aooowwww” to the humans on the observation deck 30 feet above him.
Kobu: G.E.P.D.A. and Mexican Government Confiscation— Kobu was discovered being kept in a concrete pit in Mexico. He was originally bought as a pet, but when he became too big and expensive to care for his owner dumped him at a monastery where he was put into the concrete cell. His new caretakers also decided he was too expensive to feed – so they began feeding him live dogs taken off the streets of Mexico City. Working with Mexican Government officials, we rescued Kobu and brought him back to TWAS. He now lives with a pride of lions that lives in one of the Sanctuary’s large acreage habitats.
Cana & Dian: Canadian Fish & Wildlife Confiscation - Male African Lion, Cana (pronounced Cane) , and his brother Dian (pronounced Dee-on), were confiscated from a drug dealer by Canadian Wildlife Officials when they were only 6 weeks old. They were subsequently rescued, and brought to the Sanctuary where they could be raised with lots of love and eventually join one of the prides living in open habitats at the Sanctuary.
Mara: Private Forfeiture—Mara was used in the film industry in California. However when she reached roughly the age of two Mara chose to stop cooperating with her trainers—and so she discarded. She now enjoys her time in one of the Sanctuary’s many large acreage habitats.
Shane: CA Fish & Game Confiscation—Shane came from “Tiger Rescue” in Colton, CA, when it was shut down in 2003. More than 150 starving, dehydrated great cats had to be rescued from that facility! Shane is a young Barbary Lion, whose beautiful black mane runs all the way down his belly.
Masai: CA Fish & Game Confiscation—For every animal actor who works successfully with people, 20-30 animals are bred that don’t make it. Masai was one of those, coming from a business in California that uses animals for films until they won’t work anymore—then forgets them—as if they never existed. Masai now rules over his very own pride!
Elsa, Yuma & Gala: Mexican Circus Surrender - When contacted to take Lions living in desperate conditions in a circus in Mexico, The Wild Animal Sanctuary had no idea the two Lions would turn into three! Elsa and Yuma’s nearly dead cub, Gala, was found lifeless in the tiny cage in which they lived. But Gala did survive, and the intensive paperwork was begun to bring the Lions back to Colorado. Elsa and Yuma are now getting to know the other Lions and enjoying life in their own spacious habitat, and fast-growing cub Gala is being lavished with the best care that the humans and Sanctuary dogs (great Lion cub babysitters!) can give her. When she is big enough, she’ll join the pride in the Lion habitat.
Lacie, Tabitha & Sampson: Private Owner Surrender – These three African lions were rescued by the Sanctuary after the mother (Lacie) and an adult male were discovered living in a horse trailer in Ohio. The adult male lion and Lacie (an adult female) had been kept in the horse trailer for years, and their owner had not prevented them from breeding – so Lacie gave birth to 3 cubs while still living in the horse trailer. An Ohio animal welfare agency stepped in at this point to move the lions into an outside cage in order to help protect the cubs, but the adult male, and one of the cubs ended up dying anyway – so the Sanctuary came to rescue the remaining three (Lacie, Tabitha & Sampson).
Ike: Private Forfeiture - Ike was purchased for $450 at an exotic animal auction house when he was just a few week old cub. The couple who purchased him soon found that he outgrew living in their house in just a matter of weeks, and decided to put him in a shed in their back yard. It wasn’t long before Ike was even too large for the shed, and that’s when the couple called TWAS to come rescue Ike. He was entered into the Sanctuary’s rehabilitation program, and now lives freely within one of the African Lion Prides at the Sanctuary.
BOLIVIAN LIONS - Bam Bam, Morena, Marta, Maria, Rosa, Rosita, Rosario, Campeon, Colo Colo, Muneca, Lulu, Hercules, Panchula, Fida, Kiara, Percy, Bob, Nancy, Pancho, Temuco, Kenya, Chitara, Dalila, Kimba & India - These 25 Lions were confiscated by Bolivian authorities after a nation-wide ban on using animals in circus performances was enacted - and 8 circuses refused to comply. The Lions were flown to the United States so they could live out their lives in freedom at the Sanctuary. They all now live in 80 acres worth of large acreage habitats at the Sanctuary in four separate prides.
PANAMANIAN LIONS – Kaitlyn, Elena & Alyssa – These three African Lion sisters were rescued from a rundown fairground in the small town of Chorrera outside of Panama City. They spent their entire lives being neglected and abused and were kept in a tiny 5x8 foot steel and concrete cage. Now at TWAS, they are all are getting healthier every day and will one day roam freely on a large acreage habitat.
Subira - Canadian Wildlife Government Confiscation - Subira is a female African Lion who was purchased by a 17 year old girl as a pet at an exotic animal auction in Canada. The young girl soon found out that Lions do not make a good pet so Subira was confiscated by authorities and was brought to a wildlife rehabilitation center in Ontario, Canada. Unfortunately Subira sat at this facility for 12 years by herself with nothing being done to help her get to a more appropriate place. Finally new management came into the rehab center and quickly realized Subira needed a better life with other Lions so they contacted TWAS. Now at TWAS, Subira is seeing and listening to other Lions for the first time in her life and will one day join a pride in a large acreage habitat where she will roam freely for the rest of her life.
Zoya, Zinna, Leo, Leon - Ohio Department of Agriculture Surrender/Confiscation - Zoya, Zinna, Leo and Leon along with four Black Bears were rescued from Zanesville, Ohio as a result of the new laws about private exotic animal ownership in Ohio. All of the animals were originally owned by Terry Thompson, the man who was responsible for letting his collection of 56 exotic animals loose before killing himself in October 2011 in Zanesville, OH. Now at TWAS, they are living in a spacious enclosure while they go through the rehabilitation process and will one day soon live in one of the Sanctuary’s large acreage habitats where they can roam freely for the rest of their lives.