This Is What Freedom Tastes Like for Five Lions Abandoned At A Zoo

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Petrica, Lidia, Lavinia, and her cubs Tarhon Big and Maron, have known no other life than a cramped, concrete prison. Bred for the Romanian State Circus, these lions were beaten and forced to perform for large crowds daily, with inadequate veterinary care and living conditions.

After Petrica lashed out at one of her trainers, the lions were transferred to the Baia Mare zoo in Romania, where the living conditions were somehow worse than before. In their concrete prison, these five lions lived for years until fate eventually stepped in.

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In 2013, the Baia Mare zoo was shut down for failing to meet EU quality standards, and the lions were left behind and forgotten. Thankfully, animal protection charity FOUR PAWS was determined to get these lions the life they deserved after their years of neglect and misery, moving them from the tragic Romanian zoo to a lion sanctuary in South Africa where they will receive the vet care they so desperately need, and live out their days in freedom and happiness.

Finally, after years of waiting and suffering, and an 8,000 mile journey, the lions are free. Check out the video to see how far they’ve come, and see them experience their first taste of freedom:

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