After spending his entire life locked in a tiny metal cage, the video you are about to watch below, captures this lion’s first moments of freedom after being rescued. For 13 long years Will had been forced to perform in a traveling circus, before the Brazilian animal sanctuary Rancho dos Gnomos came to finally release him from this awful captivity, where he was confined to a cramped cage when not performing.
When his cage is opened, it takes Will a moment to realize what has happened, before he jumps from confinement and romps towards the earth, grass, rocks and trees. He revels in feeling nature beneath his paws with such obvious delight, that it brought tears to my eyes.
Rolling onto his back in the grass and experiencing all of the smells and textures of nature beneath his paws, as he explores his new home, brings home the importance of allowing wild animals to be in a natural environment and the cruelty of this deprivation. The heartlessness of animals being held captive in order to entertain humans, instead of being able to live their lives in their natural habitat, should never be allowed or tolerated.
The happy ending for Will, according to Marcus Pompeo, the lion caretaker and founder of the sanctuary, where he “loved to lie in the grass and look at the sky..[and] was a very happy lion”, is heartwarming. The fact that he was able to spend the last five years of his life in this beautiful sanctuary, before dying in 2011, was a wonderful thing. Hopefully sharing his story and this video will help to free other big cats who continue to be enslaved to this day.
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