Three more animals were rescued by The Wild Animal Sanctuary, a rescue that required a 3,300-mile trip in less than four days.
The first animal rescued was Subira, a 12-year-old African lioness who was staying in Ontario, Canada after being confiscated from someone keeping her illegally as a pet. Zoocheck Canada, a Toronto-based animal welfare organization, first alerted TWAS of the situation after watching Subira for some time.
Because Subira would be allowed to roam free and interact with other lionesses at TWAS, Zoocheck Canada knew it was their only option. TWAS has 720 acres and six African Lion prides spread among their Colorado property. They are planning to add more in the future.
TWAS is no amateur when it comes to rescuing lions. It was their third successful lion rescue this year alone. In February 2011 they rescued 25 from eight different circuses in Bolivia with the assistance of Animal Defenders International.
After stopping in Canada, TWAS traveled to Ohio where two wolves were waiting. Both wolves were staying in a husky rescue center. The first, a young white Arctic Wolf named Fidget, was saved from a facility in which the owner suddenly died and left the animals to fend for themselves.
Three Black Bears were already rescued by TWAS from the same facility and are now living in a sanctuary with other bears. Aztec, the second wolf, was confiscated from another illegal owner. The young Timber Wolf bonded with Fidget and the two are being allowed to stay together.
After living on the Sanctuary’s western end while they become accustomed to their new home, the wolves will be transported to a new location to join one of the existing wolf packs maintained by the sanctuary. It will be the wolves’ permanent home.
TWAS is unique in that it is one of the only facilities in the country with the means to transport large carnivores. Using vehicles complete with climate control and other features, the organization keeps many animals from suffering in unfit situations.
Both rescues were filmed by a National Geographic Crew and will be aired along with other international rescues in a three-part series. TWAS currently houses more almost 300 large carnivores, including lions, tigers, bears and wolves, among others. Located just 30 miles northeast of Denver, the Sanctuary is the oldest and largest carnivore sanctuary in existence. It was first opened in 1980.
Photo credit: THE WILD ANIMAL SANCTUARY