This Mountain Lion Takes Its First Steps To Freedom After 20 Years Living In Chains

mountain lion in chains is freed

Mountain lions are listed under the category of “least concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature since 2008, 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 reverence in North American culture, their numbers have been dropping.

Recently, the wild tribe of the mountain lions gained another member, however, as a lion that had been in captivity for 20 years was finally given his walking papers, so to speak.

The lion had spent all that time 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!”

The lion in question went by the name of Mufasa, much like the protaganist in the classic Disney Movie ‘The Lion King.’

Despite his kingly name, this particular lion did not live a regal life.

Mufasa had sat patiently chained inside of a pickup truck for 20 years after he was originally found in an area of Northern Peru, the Huffington Post said.

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.

It was all captured on tape by the Animal Defenders International (ADI) group, which played a major role in helping Mufasa finally taste freedom.

The story was first broken by The Dodo, which released the following picture.

Upon being freed, Mufasa did what anyone would do: he stretched out his legs and body fully and freely, for the first time in nearly two decades!

Freeing Mufasa wasn’t easy, however.

It took ADI activists, police officers, and local wildlife officials to raid the traveling circus in Peru after receiving a tip on how they had been using wild animals at their shows.

Mufasa was believed to have been captured as a cub.

When it came time to rescue him, it took an eight-hour standoff to do so.

After his 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.”

Mufasa was transported to a rescue center near Lima, Peru for rehabilitation.

He was given a clean bill of health before making a three-day trip to the Tambopata reserve in the Amazon rainforest.

He was expected to spend the rest of his life in this lush, protected habitat.

We can’t think of a better way to help preserve one of the most beautiful and valuable creatures in the animal kingdom.

A special shout-out to everyone who helped make this happen for the good of our natural world!

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