Blind lion one of 32 big cats rescued in major operation

A half-blind lion has been rescued from an illegal circus in Peru after suffering years of abuse.

The animal, named Joseph, was kept in a tiny cage and forced to perform circus acts.

Joseph was also denied medical treatment when he developed a cataract in his left eye.

The lions were kept in tiny cages. Source: Animal Defenders International

The big cat was one of 32 lions rescued from circuses in Colombia and Peru and will now be airlifted to an animal sanctuary in South Africa, where they will live in a large controlled enclosure.

Many of the rescued animals were emaciated and some had their teeth smashed and claws removed so they could not defend themselves.

Many of the lions had to have surgery on their teeth. Source: Animal Defenders International

The rescue mission was carried out by charity group Animal Defenders International (ADI) and followed a month-long operation.

More than 90 animals have been rescued as part of the ADI campaign.

News break - September 3