The biggest circus lion rescue of its kind just happened, and it was epic.

The circus can be a really cruel place for animals.

You might think the lions and tigers (hopefully not bears oh my!) performing in circus acts are tough, wild beasts doing just fine, but were starting to understand that these magnificent creatures are actually treated really poorly.

All photos courtesy of Animal Defenders International, used with permission.

Paws.org describes life as a circus animal as a monotonous and brutal routine of boredom, stress, and pain. The animals spend virtually 100% of their lives in chains or caged and are subjected to extreme forms of discipline, such as whipping, choking, and electrical shocks.

No living thing deserves to be treated like that.

But recently, an organization called Animal Defenders International launched the biggest rescue operation of its kind to save some of these animals.

Their small team, led by founder Jan Creamer, has been saving wild animals from cruel captivity all over the world since 1990.

All GIFs via Animal Defenders International/YouTube.

Creamer gets things done.

Over the past year, Creamer and ADI have rescued 33 lions from circuses in Peru and Colombia and slowly nursed them back to health.

Working with local governments, Creamer and her team investigated the biggest offenders of the countries wild animal trafficking laws.

They discovered 33 lions (and hundreds of other animals) being kept in conditions of extreme abuse and neglect. Nine of the lions were voluntarily surrendered by a circus in Colombia, but the rest had to be forcibly removed by armed government agents.

Many of the big cats were starving, with the tips of their toes cut off as a primitive de-clawing method, and some were even missing their teeth, so they couldnt survive in the wild. The ADI immediately provided the lions with the medical care they needed.

But in addition to medical care, love and TLC were part of the lions’ recovery plan too, and that included making sure the lions were all given proper names.

Meet some of these incredible animals:

Joseph

Rapunzel

Liso

You can meet all 33 of the beautiful cats here.

The lions needed a home, so ADI teamed up with Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa to create one.

After they fully recuperated, in late-April 2016, all 33 rescued felines were flown across the Atlantic Ocean toward freedom.

With fundraising partner GreaterGood.org, ADI successfully raised the more than $330,000 needed for the flight to transport the 33 lions back to Africa on a gigantic MD11F cargo plane (the flight was appropriately named Spirit of Freedom).

On the morning of April 29, the nine cats in Colombia were treated to a nice preflight meal.

You can see their whole journey in this video. The lions were loaded onto the Spirit of Freedom aircraft in Bogota.

Later that morning, the MD11F landed in Lima, Peru, to pick up its 24 remaining passengers.

As they were unloaded from the plane, Creamer held a press conference reminding reporters what these lions have been through.

She also explained what this entire rescue operation is for:

After that, it was just a days journey by car from the airport to the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary.

Once they reached their destination, the animals were unloaded from the truck one by one

… and released joyously into their new habitat!

Our (big) feline friends are now feeling right at home in their sanctuary.

Photo by Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary, used with permission.

Jan says, [At Emoya] these animals will live in safety, in their natural environment and freedom from fear, pain and distress caused by humans. They will be cared for in a loving environment where they are respected and protected.

Compared to what theyve been through, this sanctuary is like a five star resort for the lions. Even better, the lion habitats will be steadily expanded as the lions become familiar with all their new free-space, and with each other.

Fingers crossed this leads to a new reality show called “The Real World: Big Cat Sanctuary on Animal Planet” … but hopefully without any drama. These cats have had enough of that.

Hakuna matata!

Source: http://www.upworthy.com/

When They Saw This Giant Leatherback Turtle In Distress, They Didn’t Hesitate To Help

When Jacksonville Police Lieutenant Steve Mullen and Officer Brad Smith were out enjoying the ocean on their day off, they saw something in the water that warranted investigation. As they got closer, though, they realized it was a matter of life and death…because caught in a crab trap was a nine-foot-long leatherback turtle!

The rope was wrapped around his neck, so each time he tried to dive, it only tightened further. Seeing that if they didn’t cut the rope soon he would die, the two officers leapt into action.

Leatherback Sea Turtle Saved From Crab Trap By JSO Officers

Leatherback Sea Turtle Saved From Crab Trap By JSO OfficersJacksonville Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Steve Mullen and Officer Brad Smith were off shore two miles out in front of Hanna Park around 1:00 p.m. today. They observed a nine foot Leatherback Sea Turtle in distress. The sea turtle had become entangled in a crab trap. The trap's rope was looped around the sea turtle's neck, and the buoy was still attached to the trap. As a result, whenever the turtle tried to dive, the rope tightened around its neck. Lt. Steve Mullen was able to disentangle the distressed turtle from the crab trap while keeping the turtle in the water.Great job Lt. Mullen and Officer Smith! Even off duty, saving lives!^MB

Posted by Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Monday, February 22, 2016

Thanks to these two off-duty officers, another life was saved. And since that turtle isn’t capable of saying thanks, bravo, gentlemen!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/leatherback-turtle/

When They Saw This Giant Leatherback Turtle In Distress, They Didn’t Hesitate To Help

When Jacksonville Police Lieutenant Steve Mullen and Officer Brad Smith were out enjoying the ocean on their day off, they saw something in the water that warranted investigation. As they got closer, though, they realized it was a matter of life and death…because caught in a crab trap was a nine-foot-long leatherback turtle!

The rope was wrapped around his neck, so each time he tried to dive, it only tightened further. Seeing that if they didn’t cut the rope soon he would die, the two officers leapt into action.

Leatherback Sea Turtle Saved From Crab Trap By JSO Officers

Leatherback Sea Turtle Saved From Crab Trap By JSO OfficersJacksonville Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Steve Mullen and Officer Brad Smith were off shore two miles out in front of Hanna Park around 1:00 p.m. today. They observed a nine foot Leatherback Sea Turtle in distress. The sea turtle had become entangled in a crab trap. The trap's rope was looped around the sea turtle's neck, and the buoy was still attached to the trap. As a result, whenever the turtle tried to dive, the rope tightened around its neck. Lt. Steve Mullen was able to disentangle the distressed turtle from the crab trap while keeping the turtle in the water.Great job Lt. Mullen and Officer Smith! Even off duty, saving lives!^MB

Posted by Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Monday, February 22, 2016

Thanks to these two off-duty officers, another life was saved. And since that turtle isn’t capable of saying thanks, bravo, gentlemen!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/leatherback-turtle/

UPS Worker Rescues Puppy That Was Dumped On The Street

It has always been a complete mystery to me, and I’m sure to many other people, how anyone could possibly abandon an innocent animal. I’mnot referring to people that adopt pets from a shelter only to return them the next day. I’m talking about those people that carelessly dump animals on the side of the road because they simply don’t know what to do with them or don’t want them anymore.

This was the exact case in a California town earlier this week. A person who no longer felt the need to care for an innocent puppy didn’t take the time to try to find a new forever home for the pup or surrender her to the pound. This person simply left the dog to fend forherself.

Domesticated animals rely on humansto keep them safe and loved. Although this puppy’s first owner wasn’t there to care for her, this sweet dog had another unexpected guardian swoop in that day.

Scroll down to find out what happened to the little pup and let us know what you think of her story in the comments!

[H/T: The Dodo]

Click

It was a day like any other for Jason Harcrow.

He was driving his UPS truck on his usual route in a California town when he saw something odd.

A car had stopped in the middle of the street, opened its doors, and let a puppy out.

Harcrow knew he had to do something or the poor, abandoned dog would get hit by a car.

Harcrow managed to snatch the dog up into his arms before she ran off into traffic.

The car that dumped her off was too far away for him to catch the license plate number, but that didn’t matter.

The puppy was safe.

Needless to say, Harcrow has become something of a hero amongst his co-workers.

“We’re very proud of him,” Jessica Lafferty, UPS supervisor, told the Modesto Bee.

“He’s a very good guy.”

The little dog is currently safe and sound at the Stanislaus County Animal Shelterin Modesto, California, where she will soon go up for adoption.

No animal should ever have to go through what this little pup went through, but fortunately, Harcrow was there to save the day.

We’re sure after someone takes one look at this cute little face, she’ll be offered the forever home she deserves.

Let us know what you think of this sweet puppy’sstory in the comments and don’t forget toSHARE with anyone who has ever rescued an animal!

Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/ups-worker-rescues-puppy/

Father And Son Duo Rescues Pets Abandoned During Flood

Last weekend, several neighborhoods in Brazoria County in Texas were forced to evacuate due to the flooding of the Brazos River.

Although the residents were warned of the flooding days before, some may not have received the message, and others may have hoped their property could withstand the storm. Whatever the reason, many family pets were left behind to fend for themselves.

As the waters crept slowly upward, several Brazoria County residents decided to take it upon themselves to goout and see what they could do to save the abandoned animals.

Thisfather-son duo shared their heroic experience on Reddit for the world to see. The brave animal lovers boarded their motorboat and ventured through the muddy waters to rescue as many pets as they could find.

Some animals were stranded in parked truck beds, while others were waiting patiently for their owners to come home for them.

Scroll down to see the incredible photos they captured on the day of their heroic rescue, and let us know what you think of this story in the comments!

[H/T: Bored Panda]

Click

After learning that many dogshad been abandoned due to flooding, despite plenty of warning, a man and his son stepped in to rescue the helpless animals.

“This was forecasted a week or so in advance, some situations I can understand,” the rescuer’s son posted on Reddit.

“Not this one.”

Despite how or why these dogs were abandoned, the rescuers braved the flooded streets.

The two menlooked high and low for any signs of life.

Some dogs were found balancing on pieces of floating furniture.

These two pals even managed to stick together through the worst of the flooding!

Some dogs reached higher ground by hopping into the bed of trucks.

Luckily, the rescuers were able to save this poor guy before the truck drifted away!

It’s difficult to say what would have become of these abandoned pets had these men decided to stay indoors.

Instead, they fought the treacherous flood waters and brought over 40 dogs to safety!

The local humane society has set up a temporary shelter for the displaced animals of Brazoria, TX.

Each and every one of these animals will be well cared for until their owners pick them up or they’re adopted to new forever families.

If you would like to assist theSPCA of Brazoria County, please visit their donation page.

What lengths would you go to in order to save a family pet?

Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget toSHARE with anyone who would do anything for their furry loved ones!

Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/father-son-rescue-pets-from-flood/