Mountain lion named Mufasa has spent 20 years in the back of an old rusty pickup truck, bound in heavy metal chains. He was forced to travel around Peru as part of a traveling circus and was clearly suffering. Finally, the ADI (Animal Defenders International) group along with the police and wildlife officials decided it was time to save this poor cougar.
While the details of Mufasa’s early life remain mostly unknown, it is believed that he had originally been born free in the wild somewhere in South America. He was likely stolen from his mother when he was still very young and sold into captivity shortly thereafter. Over the following 20 years he was mistreated and kept bound up in heavy metal chains while being forced to endure life on the road with the circus.
Mufasa’s life was far from comfortable, he barely had any room to move around and no clean spot to lay on, just a dusty corner surrounded by metal bars and dirt. There was no shelter over his head to protect him from the elements and so the hot sun and pouring rain beat down on him.
The state Mufasa was held in was absolutely shocking
The circus using Mufasa had been illegaly using wild animals for years and with the recently changed laws in Peru, it made keeping and/or using animals in circus shows illegal.
The ADI group had recently received a tip that the circus was still holding a mountain lion and what followed was a long, strained eight hour standoff, but eventually the circus surrendered Mufasa.
This video captures the emotional moment he was finally released from his heavy chains.
The elderly lion was sitting quietly as he patiently waited for officials to cut the harness off and finally free him from a life of captivity and neglect. For the first time in perhaps 20 years he was able to fully stretch himself out and perform the one action that cats of all types and breeds seem to love best.
Wildlife officials, with the help and support of the many volunteers who’d worked tirelessly to track down and free circus animal all across Peru, transported Mufasa to ADI’s Spirit of Freedom rescue center for rehabilitation. After he’d been checked out and deemed healthy enough to travel, he was taken on a 3 day journey into the Amazon rainforest to his new home.
Mufasa will live out the rest of his life at the Tambopata Reserve where he’s free to wander about his new habitat completely unchained. He no longer faces a life full of uncertainty and constant travel and there are no more people gawking at him. Instead, he finally has the chance to spend his final few years in the wild jungle where he’s protected and able to move about on his own.
H/T to themindunleashed