33 Lions Endured A Lifetime Of Abuse At A Circus. Then The Moment They Tasted Freedom Finally Came

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Image: BRETT ELOFF/AFP/Getty Images

Saving over 30 lions from their circus cages was an unprecedented rescue operation. However, after ten years, Animal Defenders International had done it: the big cats were free. Now rescuers sat back and watched the lions step on to their homeland for the very first time.

Image: Facebook/Animal Defenders International

Animal Defenders International (ADI) is appropriately named, with branches in the U.K, Columbia and the USA. Since its founding in 1990, ADI has worked hard to defend animal rights. In fact, it was responsible for passing an animal protection law in Columbia and Peru.

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Image: VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images

Perhaps ADI’s most famous campaign is Stop Circus Suffering, focusing on the rights of circus animals. Although many countries have laws against using wild animals in circus performances, it’s a new concept in some places. Latin America is one of them.

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