Colorado Welcomes Big Cats

Thursday, February 17, 2011 - 9:51am

Dozens of lions find new home at animal sanctuary.

If cats really do have nine lives, then this is a second chance for 25 lions.

An airliner from Bolivia arrived Wednesday in Denver, completing a 15-hour flight to freedom for the big cats.

The Bolivian government banned the use of wild and domestic animals in circuses in 2009.

That's when the activist group "Animal Defenders International" stepped in.

"There has never been a country in the world that has banned the use of all animals in circuses and allowed us to rescue all the animals, this is a world's first, it's a wonderful, wonderful feeling," says ADI president Jan Creamer.

After being nursed back to good health, the lions are moving into an existing Colorado refuge and will eventually be allowed to roam over 80 acres, but will remain separated from other big cats already in residence.

In the meantime, they'll get settled into their new home.

The wild animal sanctuary in Colorado has constructed a 15,000 square foot facility to help the lions acclimate to the sanctuary and the Colorado weather.

The lions range in age from just over eight weeks to 12 years.

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