ABUSED CIRCUS LIONS ARRIVE IN SOUTH AFRICA

JOHANNESBURG,) -- Thirty-three neglected and abused circus lions which were rescued in South America last year have arrived in South Africa.

The big cats were taken from the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg upon their arrival here over the weekend to the Emoya Nature Reserve near Vaalwater in Limpopo Province, about 250 kilometres north of here.

Twenty-four of the lions had been confiscated by Animal Defenders International and the police from circuses in Peru while circuses in Colombia handed over another nine lions after their government banned their use.

The lions were in kept cages for four days for their international flights before being released on Sunday.

The founder of the Emoya Nature Reserve, Savannah Heuser, says: "As you heard, these cats lived in horrible conditions, they lived in really terrible places.

"Unfortunately they cannot be put back in the wild but they can get the second best thing, which is semi-freedom, and off course being brought back to their homeland, which is Africa."

SOURCE: NAM NEWS NETWORK