Lion airlift

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2011:
LOS ANGELES–Campaigning against animal circuses in Latin
America since 2006, Animal Defenders International on February 16,
2011 flew 24 former Bolivian circus lions to the Rocky Mountain
Wildlife Conservation Center in Keenesburg, Colorado, doing
business as the Wild Animal Sanctuary. Retired Price Is Right host
Bob Barker, who donated $2 million to fund the rescue, was present
to witness their arrival.


Bolivia banned animal circuses in July 2009, but did not
provide for the animals who could no longer be exhibited. Animal
Defenders Inter-national in June 2010 flew four former Bolivian
circus lions to the Performing Animal Welfare sanctuary near Galt,
California.
Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation Center founder Pat Craig
announced in August 2006 that the sanctuary was out of funds and on
the verge of closure. The sanctuary closed to public visits in
September 2006, but in October 2006 Craig said enough donations had
been received to keep it going. The 30-year-old sanctuary then
housed about 150 animals, including 75 tigers and 30 bears, on 140
acres of a 320-acre site. After accepting some transferees from the
now defunct Wild Animal Orphanage sanctuary in San Antonio, Texas,
the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation Center has a current
population of about 200 animals.
Animal Defenders Inter-national, with offices in Los Angeles,
California, and Bogota, Columbia, is an affiliate of the National
Anti-Vivisection Society of Britain [not related to the U.S.
organization of the same name], the Lord Dowding Fund for Humane
Research, and the British organization Animal Defenders, founded in
1990. All are headed by longtime National Anti-Vivisection Society
of Britain chief executive Jan Creamer.
As well as helping to win passage of the Bolivian ban on
animal circuses, Animal Defenders International is promoting similar
proposed legislation in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Peru.

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