Circus animals from Mexico find new home in U.S. sanctuary

Eight lions, a puma, two bobcats and a coyote rescued from circuses in Mexico arrived safely in Colorado and their new home at a wildlife refuge center.

sanctuary2The animals were transported to the United States on a flight dubbed “Trip to Freedom” after Mexico outlawed the use of animals in circuses in January. Many of them were found emaciated and in poor condition and were treated in Mexico before being shipped to the United States.

The Wild Animal Sanctuary, which was established in 1980, is the oldest and largest nonprofit sanctuary in the United States dedicated exclusively to rescuing captive exotic and endangered carnivores. It is home to more than 400 rescued animals.

The sanctuary “has ideal conditions that the animals should have always been in,” said Natural Resources deputy Ignacio Millan before the animals departed a Navy airport hangar in Mexico City.

Animal abuse and neglect in Mexico is a “serious” problem and federal authorities have rescued 420 large cats, Millan said.

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