'Lion Ark' Documentary Showcases Animals' Rescue From Illegal Bolivian Circuses (VIDEO)

In 2009 an undercover investigation by Animal Defenders International ( ADI) led to a 2009 ban on circus animals in Bolivia. The circuses were given a year to comply with the law, but many ignored this and kept their animals, including a number of lions, in deplorable cage conditions.

In 2010, ADI stepped in with with the assistance of Bolivian wildlife officials and confiscated the animals. The film, 'Lion Ark' documents all of this as the team tracks down eight illegal circuses. They end up facing off against the angry circus owners. The movie opens in the middle of a confrontation between rescuers and a knife-wielding circus owner.

At the same time the film shows the race against time to transport 25 lions to a Colorado animal sanctuary. Over the course of the film, rescuers track down filthy, starving lions, some of which were living eight to a cage and transport them 5,000 miles to freedom.

Bob Barker and "CSI"-star Jorja Fox make appearances in the film but the real stars are the lions themselves— especially Colo Colo, an aggressive 12-year-old lion that’s spent his entire life in the same small cage. A touching moment is when Colo Colo who claws and snarls at rescuers, is calmed down when he is released into a much larger cage and ADI President Jan Creamer offers him a drink from a watering can. When the lion is finally released and walks on grass for the first time, it is one of the best moments of the film.

Today, the 25 lions who spent years confined to a cage by themselves, all live in prides at the 320-acre 'The Wild Animal Sanctuary' near Denver, Colorado. It is one of the largest captive lion enclosures in the world.

'Lion Ark' will be showing on the international film festival circuit in June. Be sure to watch the trailer below of this exciting film and to find a screening near you, visit the movie’s website.

Operation Lion Ark - Trailer from Mark Whatmore, Yoho Media on Vimeo.

Responses to "New Documentary features 25 lions that were rescued from Illegal Bolivian Circuses"

  1. Unknown says:

    EVERY person who is part of this circus needs the same treatment! this is sick!

  2. Unknown says:

    I cried through the whole thing! it is just terrible! ( I AM GLAD that they are rescued! ) but those circus people need the same treatment!

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