Early Christmas morning we were alerted to a shipment of lions and tigers that were on their way to Lebanon as part of a circus. Coming overland from Egypt, they had been without food for days as they crossed into Jordan, finally reaching Lebanon two days later. The Princess Alia Foundation worked to ensure the animals were given food and treated humanely while they were driven across Jordan.
As documents and information started to come in, we realized this was a circus which has been investigated for more than 15 years for the smuggling and abuse of animals. Ten years earlier all the animals of the Akef circus were confiscated in Mozambique as they had been abandoned and began to starve.
After a torturous week long trip in dilapidated containers, the animals were forced to perform less than 24 hours after they reached the circus. Malika, the female lion cub, had been declawed two weeks earlier while she was still in Egypt. Circus owners never gave her the time to heal from this outdated and cruel practice, and her paws remain raw and infected.
A two week investigation headed by Animals Lebanon led to Minister of Agriculture Dr. Hussein Hajj Hassan declaring the circus animals entered Lebanon illegally. The Ministers decision, issued 8 January, gave the circus owners only days to move all nine lions and tigers from Lebanon.
The landmark decision is a strong stance against animal smuggling, and since Tuesday the circus has been shut down. Lebanese law does not give a way to confiscate these lions and tigers, but the Minister welcomed working with Animals Lebanon to enact laws to prevent this from ever happening again.
If you love animals then join us in stopping to circus abuse in Lebanon and SUPPORT OUR CAMPAIGN to ban the use of animals in circuses. Many circus animals are subjected to cruel and abusive treatment as they are forced to perform, only to then be locked in small cages. More and more countries begin to ban the use of animals in circuses - your support now will help make sure Lebanon is added to this list.
YOUR DONATION NOW will help make sure animals like Mary the lion cub never have to suffer again.