3 lions relocated to US after Bolivia outlaws animals in circuses

File: Resting lion on the Serengeti, Tanzania
File: Resting lion on the Serengeti, Tanzania
Cody Kwok/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

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A sanctuary in Colorado Tuesday accepted several lions rescued from circuses in South America. The organization behind the rescue has also arranged to deliver rescue lions to California.

Bob Barker, former host of TV’s “The Price is Right” and animal rights activist, donated $2 million to help airlift three big cats from Bolivia to the United States. Bolivia is the first county in South America to outlaw the use of animals in circuses.

The three latest rescue lions spent months at Denver’s Wild Animal Sanctuary, where veterinarians screened and treated their health and dental problems.

The cats’ next home will be a savannah-like habitat in Keenesburg, on the plains of eastern Colorado. Animal Defenders International, the nonprofit that coordinated their relocation, describes the habitat as the largest place in the country for lions to safely roam.

The organization has arranged to airlift 29 lions in all to Colorado, and another four to California.