You are hereBolivian lions find sanctuary in Keenesburg, CO.
Bolivian lions find sanctuary in Keenesburg, CO.
The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colo. is now home to 25 ex-circus and zoo lions rescued from Bolivia.
Some of these lions are walking on grass for the first time in their lives, others are learning to play and nap comfortably in their climate controlled habitat.
One lion, Kimba, spent 11 years in isolation behind a brick wall in a Bolivian zoo. In order to rescue him, the brick walls lining his enclosure had to be torn down. Today, he is finally getting the opportunity to spend time near others of his own kind.
Kimba is 15 years old this year and is the oldest of the 25 lions. The youngest members of the Bolivian prides are the trio of three month old cubs who are still with their mother. These lion cubs will spend their whole lives at the Wild Animal Sanctuary with 20 acre paddocks to roam.
The lions are severely underweight, but Director of Development Shawna Finkenbinder said that she is optimistic about their futures. "They're all malnourished. They're all very skinny. They're all in need of a lot of dietary care, but they'll all do great with time."
The lions arrived six days ago on planes charted by Animal Defenders International, the rescue organization responsible for "Operation Lion Ark."
It will cost $8,000 each year to care for a single lion, which means that the Wild Animal Sanctuary will need to raise funds from visitor entrance fees, private donations and gift shop sales to provide the level of care that they deserve.
Animal Defenders International pledged to provide some funding for the rest of the lions lives, which gave the Wild Animal Sanctuary the ability to agree to provide a habitat for the lions.
The Wild Animal Sanctuary is open to the public seven days a week, but the Bolivian lion biosphere will not be open until the public viewing deck is complete. To learn more about Wild Animal Sanctuary and to follow the progress of the Bolivian lions please visit: www.wildanimalsanctuary.org