- Title: MEXICO-ANIMALS/RELOCATION Rescued Mexican circus animals sent to U.S. sanctuary
- Date: 26th August 2015
- Summary: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (AUGUST 26, 2015) (REUTERS) INDIVIDUAL CRATE WITH LION BEING UNLOADED FROM TRUCK BEFORE BEING PLACED ON PLANE LION SEEN INSIDE CRATE STICKER ON CRATE THAT READS: "WILDLIFE FAUNA" MORE OF CRATE BEING MOVED ONTO FORK LION PEEKING THROUGH CRATE MORE OF CRATE BEING MOVED STICKER THAT READS: "ANDROMEDA - AFRICAN LION" LION IN CRATE BEING WHEELED ALONG GENERAL VIEW OF PLANE BIOLOGIST IGNACIO MILLAN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY OF NATURAL RESOURCES FOR PROFEPA, BEING INTERVIEWED (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BIOLOGIST IGNACIO MILLAN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY OF NATURAL RESOURCES FOR PROFEPA, SAYING: "They (Colorado refuge) are looking for ideal conditions where these animals are able to develop and live as they should've lived in the wild." FACE OF LION THROUGH CRATE STICKER THAT READS: "LUNA - AFRICAN LION" NAVY OFFICERS LOOKING AT CRATES ON TARMAC CRATES BEING LIFTED ON FORK AND LOADED INTO PLANE CAMERAMAN MORE OF CRATE BEING PLACED ON PLANE CRATE BEING WHEELED INSIDE PLANE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BIOLOGIST IGNACIO MILLAN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY OF NATURAL RESOURCES FOR PROFEPA, SAYING: "It's not a zoo. The meaning of a sanctuary is that they will no longer have barriers. They will be free. That sanctuary has a surface of 291 hectares. It's a large plot of land where they will be free." NAVY PILOTS IN PLANE GETTING READY FOR TAKE OFF MAN SIGNALLING TAKE OFF ON TARMAC NAVY PLANE TAKING OFF
- Embargoed: 10th September 2015 13:00
- Location: Mexico
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVAAROFPUP4W0CRH42NKGDDBCVFT
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Mexican circus felines and a coyote rescued from poor conditions left Mexico City, bound for a Colorado wildlife refuge in the United States.
Dubbed "Trip to Freedom," the two males and six female lions, a puma, two bobcats and a coyote departed from Mexico City's International Airport on Wednesday (August 26) at 10:00 am (1500 GMT).
They left of a jet chartered by the Mexican Naval Air Force, in collaboration with the federal attorney general's office for environmental protection (Profepa).
In an unprecedented move for Profepa and the Navy in terms of animal protection, workers unloaded the lions "Zimba" and "Jupiter" ; lionesses "Sanshai," "Adromeda," "Venus," "Terra," "Moon," "Miranda,"; Puma "Pakal; Bobcats "Black" and "Wild" and the Coyote "Cancan" in individual crates ahead of the direct flight to the Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) in Denver, Colorado.
"They (Colorado refuge) are looking for ideal conditions where these animals are able to develop and live as they should've lived in the wild," biologist Ignacio Millan, deputy attorney of natural resources for Profepa, told media who assembled at the hangar to watch the event.
Established by Executive Director Pat Craig in 1980, TWAS is the oldest and largest nonprofit sanctuary in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to rescuing captive exotic and endangered large carnivores.
The site comprises 719 acres (291 hectares), sheltering more than 400 lions, tigers, bears, leopards, mountain lions, wolves and other large carnivores.
"It's not a zoo. The meaning of a sanctuary is that they will no longer have barriers. They will be free. That sanctuary has a surface of 291 hectares. It's a large plot of land where they will be free," added Millan.
The cats and coyote were taken from circuses after Mexico passed a law in January this year outlawing use of animals in circuses. Many were found emaciated and in poor health and the animals underwent rehabilitation in Mexico before the trip.
After passing the law, Mexican government officials gave circus owners six months - the prohibition took effect on July 8 - to cease using animals, even domesticated ones, in their acts or face criminal penalties.
Profepa rounded up the animals from the circuses, effectively shutting down the industry in Mexico.
Profepa announced in June, they would start - in cooperation with a Mexican organization known as Bioparque Convivencia Pachuca - the largest relocation of wild animals in the history of Latin America, with the initial relocation of the lion cub, "Leonardo."
The cats will be kept in several prides as they adjust to the new climate and altitude.
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