A mountain lion named Mufasa has been freed after 20 years in old rusty chains in the back of a pickup, where he has been forced to live since captured as a young cub. The illegal traveling South American circus kept Mufasa confined, not allowing him to move around or even stretch his legs. Mufasa wore a confining rusted metal harness with giant chains affixed to the back of the old pickup truck.
But when Animal Defenders International heard of the plight of Mufasa, they stepped up to free the wild animal from his captors. ADI President Jan Creamer said that it was just heartbreaking to see Mufasa in chains, a broken animal that had accepted his fate, as that is all he has ever known.
ADI was instrumental in freeing Mufasa from his chains during a police raid on the traveling circus before transporting him on a three-day journey to Peru's Tambopata reserve in the Amazon rainforest, The International Business Times reported. There, he is free to live out his life in a protected habitat in the Peruvian jungle. Watching Mufasa sit patiently while the chains are cut, being able to come off the pickup truck bed, and stretching his legs for the first time is an emotional moment for all involved.
"It was magical to see him moving about in and out of the trees in his own piece of protected forest," Creamer said, according to The Huffington Post.
"Mufasa's story symbolizes the suffering we have ended. He was kept for years in chains in a truck, sleeping on metal, barely able to move," said Creamer, Examiner reported. "An unbearable torture. Now, in his twilight years, I hope people will help us give him back the life the circus stole from him."