This Mountain Lion Takes Its First Steps to Freedom after He Lived Chained for 20 Years

This elderly mountain lion spent two decades of his life chained onto the back of a truck. Finally, he’s free.

Named Mufasa, this poor lion was rescued from an illegal circus in Peru. Mufasa was probably sold into the exotic trade of pets when really young.

It’s estimated that he spent 20 years carted from one village to the next and forced to perform tricks and used for entertainment, far away from his natural habitat.

When Mufasa wasn’t used for performances, he was chained into a cage in a truck. He would curl up there and sleep.

Thanks to the ADI (Animal Defenders International), Mufasa has been freed of this solitary and sad life.

Heartbreaking: Mountain Lion Chained for 20 Years

According to Jan Creamer, the president of ADI, seeing this precious mountain lion chained among the circus equipment, confined to live at the back of a truck, was heartbreaking. The heavy harness and the chains were wrapped around the lion’s body, constricting his free movements.

As they cut them away, Mufasa started to stretch, free as never before.

Creamer added that seeing Mufasa chained was the saddest view ever.

It seemed like he wasn’t even alive. Thanks to the operation Spirit of Freedom, ADI rescued Mufasa and ended the years-long suffering. The organization’s crackdown on illegal animal circuses happened in 2011 in the wake of the ban on circus animal performances.

Mufasa’s New Life Finally Began

When they found Mufasa in the illegal circus, he was skinny and also seemed fearful of humans because of the abuse. They transferred him to the rescue center in Lima, Peru and the rescuers worked hard on healing both his body and mind.

Several weeks into the therapy and treatment he got, his appetite rose and his coat improved significantly.

Once he healed, Mufasa was sent to the Taricaya Ecological Reserve. They installed a special enclosure in the Amazon rainforest that allows Mufasa to live out a more natural lifestyle.

At first, he was cautiously stepping into his new home. He explored the leaves and tried to settle in a place that seemed so strange: a place where there are no chains and abuse.

A Symbol of Freedom & the End of Suffering

Creamer explains that Mufasa was removed from his natural habitat and had the worst 20 years. His rescue is a symbol of hope.

His story is heart-wrenching and only one among the almost 100 animals that ADI has rescued throughout their operations. This list is long and it includes animals like lions, monkeys, bears, tigers, and birds.

ADI continues its fight against illegal circus animals.