A Captive Circus Mountain Lion Chained to a Pickup Truck Is Rescued and Released Into the Amazon Rainforest in Peru

A beautiful but horribly neglected mountain lion in Peru named Mufasa, who spent most of his life performing as a circus animal when he wasn’t chained up in the back of a pickup truck, was rescued by Animal Defenders International (ADI) after local police were brought in to help. The organization rehabilitated and then brought the liberated cat to live out the rest of his days in the Amazon Rainforest under the protection of the ADI.

Mufasa ’s journey to freedom began in April, when ADI received a tip-off that Circo Koreander was illegally operating with wild animals in an isolated village in northern Peru. ADI, police and wildlife officers moved in for a surprise raid but were met by hostile resistance. An eight hour stand-off saw riot police and a Public Prosecutor called in before Mufasa – Peru’s last wild animal in a circus – was handed over, along with a condor. Mufasa was cut from his circus chains and taken to ADI’s Spirit of Freedom rescue centre near Lima to rehabilitate. His appetite and coat condition have improved after receiving specialist veterinary treatment. It is believed that Mufasa was taken from the wild as a baby. After being nursed back to better health, Mufasa made a 3-day journey by road and boat to his forever home on the edge of the Tambopata reserve in the Amazon rainforest.

Donations to Mustafa and the ADI can easily be made through their website.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.