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This Is What Freedom Tastes Like After 20 Years Locked In A Circus Van

In 2011, Peru banned wild animals to perform in circuses but that meant nothing to the Circo Koreander Circus. In April, 2015, Mufasa was found and illegally kept chained by Circo Koreander Circus. After 20 years chained inside the back of a circus truck, Mufasa finally found his freedom. When local police rescued the mountain lion, Animal Defenders International’s Spirit of Freedom near Lima, Peru, gave him the medical care he desperately needed. Mufasa is believed to have been the last wild animal in a Peruvian circus before his rescue. When he was ready, the organization embarked on a 3-day trip over land and water to bring him to the Taricaya Ecological Reserve in the Amazon. There, he would experience earth and trees, and the clean forest air, for the first time. The look of wonder on his face as he walks out of his cage is priceless.

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Update: Mufasa had suffered more than 20 years of abuse, and his kidneys were shutting down. But his final months were filled with kindness, good food, and his own personal patch of forest. In December of 2015, Mufasa passed away – peacefully and in freedom rather than in chains. Learn how you can help protect precious mountain lion habitats.

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