Since 2008, mountain lions are listed under the category of “least concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, after previously spending six years in the near-threatened category.
Six species of the majestic lions are recognized by this group throughout Canada and the United States, but despite their admiration in the culture of North America, their numbers have been decreased.
Recently, another member joined the wild tribe of the mountain lions, yet, this lion that had been captivated for 20 years and was given his walking papers, at last.
The animal had spent 20 years in chains, but now he is free as part of an event that had been a long time coming and garnered international headlines.
“You’re Free, Mufasa!”
This lion is called Mufasa, named after the lion in the classic Disney movie ‘The Lion King.’
Even though he has a name of a king, he did not live a regal life.
For 20 years, he had sat patiently chained inside of a pickup truck after he was originally found in an area of Northern Peru, as said by the Huffington Post.
After what must have seemed like ages tied to a pickup truck, the fledgling lion sat under a blanket of heavy chains as wildlife officials worked to cut him free.
The Animal Defenders International (ADI) group recorded all on tape, as they played a crucial role in helping the lion see freedom at last.
This case was first published by The Dodo, which released the following picture.
Upon being released, the animal did what anyone would do: he stretched out his legs and body fully and freely, for the first time in 20 years!
Yet, setting Mufasa free wasn’t easy.
It took ADI activists, police officers, and local wildlife officials to raid the traveling circus in Peru after being informed on how they had been using wild animals at their performances.
It is assumed that Mufasa has been captured as a cub.
When the time to rescue Mufasa came, it took an eight-hour standoff to do so.
After the animal’s freedom was granted, activists and officers alike were ecstatic.
“It was magical to see him moving about in and out of the trees in his own piece of protected forest,” she said in a statement posted to ADI’s website.
“A heavy harness and chains were wrapped around his body and as we cut them away, he stretched, free, for the first time.”
They have transported Mufasa for rehabilitation in a rescue center near Lima, Peru.
He was examined and found healthy before making a three-day trip to the Tambopata reserve which is settled in the Amazon rainforest.
It is planned for Mufasa to spend the rest of his life in this lush, protected habitat.
It is a great way to help preserve one of the most beautiful and valuable creatures in the animal world.
All praises go to the people who helped to make this happen!