Circus Cat Chained To Truck For 20 Years Takes First Steps To Freedom

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An elderly mountain lion who spent his life chained to the back of a truck has finally gotten a taste of freedom.

Mufasa the mountain lion was rescued from an illegal Peruvian circus earlier this year. Likely sold into the exotic pet trade as an infant, he had spent 20 years being carted around from village to village and forced to perform.

ANIMAL DEFENDERS INTERNATIONAL

Lacking even the comfort of a cage, when he wasn’t performing he would be locked up and chained in the open bed of a truck, where he’d curl up behind the tent poles to sleep.

ANIMAL DEFENDERS INTERNATIONAL

“It was heartbreaking to see Mufasa chained among the circus equipment, living on the back of a pickup truck,” Jan Creamer, president of Animal Defenders International (ADI), said in a statement. “A heavy harness and chains were wrapped around his body and as we cut them away, he stretched, free, for the first time.”

ANIMAL DEFENDERS INTERNATIONAL

At the time, Creamer described the scene as “the most sad, wretched thing that you’ve ever seen,” noting that “it was like he wasn’t even alive.”

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