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Wildlife Animal Sanctuary In the Lion House

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Published on Mar 5, 2012

The Girls and Kimbo come inside and Have a roaring contest. :)

Three female African Lions that are 14 years old had spent their entire lives being neglected and physically abused. They were kept inside a tiny 5x8ft steel and concrete cage and were only fed small amounts of food scraps from local butcher shops. They lived on a fairground that was only open two weeks a year for one of the biggest fairs in Panama. During those two weeks, the Lionesses were constantly harassed as drunken fair patrons would scream and throw objects at them. The fairground was rented out to a different non-profit organization every two years to help raise funds, but the Lions paid the ultimate price as each new fairground management never provided proper nutrition or medical attention. The Lionesses learned how to survive despite suffering from starvation and neglect. For years animal welfare organizations have promised to help secure a better home for the Lionesses, but no one followed through and got them. When The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) heard about the Lions, we immediately promised to rescue them from their lives of deprivation.

Over the past couple months TWAS was able to bring together several key organizations to help make the rescue possible. Within Panama, the National Authority for the Environment (ANAM) worked diligently to secure legal releases needed for the Lions to leave Panama, while Tocumen Airport officials assisted with all of the logistics related to staging the Lions for when they would arrive at the airport. In addition to providing logistical support for the rescue team, Gamboa Rainforest Resort also donated vehicles to transport the Lions to the capital city where a FedEx Air Cargo plane awaited their arrival. FedEx played a decisive role in helping the Lions get the freedom they deserved as they graciously donated their transportation to the U.S.

The Lionesses were airlifted to Denver International Airport at 4:45am on Wednesday, September 28, 2011and was transported to TWAS shortly after. The Lionesses are temporarily being housed in the state of the art Bolivian Lion Complex in one of the 1,500 square foot enclosures where they will see and hear other Lions for the first time in their lives. TWAS will provide the Lions with a high-quality specially formulated diet of meat and much needed medical attention. Over the next several months, the Lionesses will go through the Sanctuary's rehabilitation process as they gain weight, build muscle tone and learn how to interact with other Lions. Once the Lions are healthy and acclimated to their new environment, they will be released into a large acreage natural habitat where they will live for the rest of their lives. TWAS staff decided to name the Lionesses Elena (named after Elena Castejon -- a woman in Panama that fought tirelessly to help free the Lions), Alyssa (named after one of the two FedEx jets that carried the female Lions), and Kaitlin (named after the second FedEx aircraft -- as well as another woman (Kate) in Panama that helped the Lions).

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