After days spent caged away from her cubs, Kiara and her babies are together and safe

April 06, 2015 10:30 PM

A mother’s love is just as powerful on four paws, and here are the photos to prove it.

Until recently Kiara the lioness and her two cubs, Mahla and Scarc, were kept in poor conditions at a circus in Cusco, Peru. But that all changed when the trio was rescued from their abusive conditions by Animal Defenders International.

Since August, the animal rights group has been in Peru, working to raid the country’s circuses and send the animals kept there to new and healthy homes. When ADI came across Kiara and her cubs, the mom was separated from her babies, who were left to fend for themselves in a cage with an aggressive male lion.

ADI representative were able to convince the circus to move the cubs to their own cage, but the circus refused to turn over the babies. Kiara was removed and taken to the group’s Spirit of Freedom Rescue Centre, where she called out for Mahla and Scarc for days.

After persistent pushing from ADI and a SWAT team, the circus finally surrendered the cubs. When the truck carrying her children rolled up to the rescue center, Kiara was immediately on alert. Group members set the cage with Mahla and Scarc besides the lioness’s enclosure and opened the door. The mom’s joy at seeing her children again after so many lonely nights was almost palpable: Kiara immediately ran up to the cubs and began to wash and nuzzle them.

This marks a new start for the lion family. They are among the dozens of animals rescued from circuses in Peru and Colombia. Now that these animals are safely resting at ADI’s rescue center, the next step is to find them permanent homes.

ADI is working to raise the funds to transport the lions on a 3,000-mile trip to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado, where they can peacefully live out the rest of their days.

To donate to Operation Spirit of Freedom, the group working to make new lives for Kiara and her cubs, visit ADI’s website.

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