Putting big, exotic animals, especially cats, on display will always bring a crowd. Even if the stage, or rather cage, is the back of a pickup truck. Unregulated circuses can be a living nightmare for the animals on display. Cats pace back and forth across small cages waiting to be freed. Fortunately, there is a knight in shining armor for a few lucky animals that get to saved.
Animal Defenders International is a group working toward to the rescue of mistreated animals around the world.
“ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress.”
In Peru, a travelling circus consisted of a group of rusting trucks fitted with a varying array of cages. Some pens were pulled behind the trucks, but in at least one case, a small pickup truck was made into a cage.
According to the Dodo, that makeshift cage made from a pickup truck was home for one emaciated puma since he was sold into the circus life as an infant.
“He lived the whole of his life wearing a harness and strapped to the back of a station wagon,” Jan Creamer, president of Animal Defenders International (ADI), told the Dodo. “He shared the back of the station wagon with all the metal equipment.”
When the puma wasn’t performing for a crowd, he was tied to the truck and slept on the hard metal bed.
“It was absolutely the most sad, wretched thing that you’ve ever seen, to see a beautiful animal pushed into a corner,” Jan Creamer said, “It was like he wasn’t even alive.”
The puma was not the only animal rescued in ADI’s month-long Operation Spirit of Freedom. A mountain lion named Mustafa and a Condor named Condorito were also saved — though the circus did put up a fight, inciting riots when officials showed up to rescue the animals.
Peru banned the use of circus animals in 2011, and since then, the the government, along with the help of agencies like ADI, has been able to rescue a number of animals. Though it has been a struggle: circus owners do not want to give up the animals earning them a profit.
ADI is not the only group out there looking after our furry friends. Recently, The Beagle Freedom Project was able to rescue ten beagles from a research laboratory in South Korea.
At least one rescued cat will be able to live out a somewhat normal life thanks to the efforts of ADI. Do you agree with the use of animals as entertainment?
[Photo via Animal Defenders International]