KEENESBURG, Colo. (CBS4) – Lions from Bolivia are now calling Colorado home.
They began their journey Wednesday in South America and ended the day in Colorado.
Related Photo Gallery: Lions Arrive
Game show host Bob Barker financed the lions’ rescue from the Bolivian circuses.
Many of the lions had been mistreated or neglected. All of them were raised in captivity in deplorable conditions. They didn’t even have enough to eat.
“We had another circus that we went into where they had a cage the size of two double beds. They had eight lions in there, eight full grown lions. They were all starving. They were fighting for food,” Tim Phillips with Animal Defenders International said.
Bolivia just recently banned animal circuses. Phillips said he hopes the banning of animal circuses will spread to other countries.
“So we went with the Bolivian authorities. We seized every single circus animal that was in an operating circus,” Phillips said.
The 25 lions will live out the rest of their lives at the Wildlife Sanctuary in Keenesburg. The lions began their stay at the sanctuary in an artificial environment. The environment is a comprised of a large tent complete with fresh sod and pine trees for the animals to enjoy.
The lions will acclimate to the cooler Colorado weather by staying in the indoor closure for awhile. When things warm up, they have an 80 acre plot outside where they will be able to live out the rest of their lives.
Barker and CSI star Jorja Fox are both members of Animal Defenders International. Both were on hand at Denver International Airport for the lions’ arrival.