However, this is not true for many animals around the world.
Many animals are caged and raised in captivity. Most of them you see in zoos, amusement parks, or aquariums.
Others are kept as pets even though they are supposed to be free in the wild. And when humans do this to animals, humans also have to take steps to bring them back to their place.
Fortunately, this is the happy story of these four captive-raised lions. Angela, Bellone, Saïda, and Louga were born and raised in captivity.
They spent their entire lives traveling around France and performing for a circus company. They were forced to perform and do tricks in front of noisy and loud crowds.
Their living conditions are far from ideal. They are crammed into cages as the circus moves from one place to another. Who knows what they were fed, but we bet they didn’t receive the best nutrition either.
The four lions were rescued by the Born Free Foundation in 2018.
The foundation started fundraising to bring these lions back to South Africa. Other animal protection foundations and partners, like Lazy Lions, provided specialized care to these big cats.
Unfortunately, the journey hasn’t been easy for them because of COVID. The pandemic delayed their plans and pushed them back by a few years.
However, the foundation saw this as an opportunity to help the animals recover, gather more donations, and prepare for the transfer.
During the pandemic, the lions stayed at a rescue center in France. But the plan was always to take them to their homeland.
And in 2022, the lions finally made it to a sanctuary in their native country.
It was a long journey from France to South Africa, where they will stay at the Shamwari Private Game Reserve. They are still in an enclosed space, but they are freer to roam around on a three-acre terrain.
Captive-raised lions are not fit to be released directly into the wild.