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lions and tigers freed from circus

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These faces belong in the sun, not in cages.

Two separate rescue operations led to one happy ending for a group of tigers and lions held captive in traveling circuses.

The Bengal tiger family—Messi, Sandro, Mafalda and Gustavo—spent their lives knowing only of a world behind the bars of a metal train carriage, according to Plant Based News. Two of the older tigers had been dropped off (train cage and all) to a local farmer in San Luis, Argentina. The farmer agreed to look after the duo temporarily. But the circus never returned. Both tigers eventually had cubs, and the family of four continued to live in captivity for years.

“The train carriage was filthy with excrements and leftover meat and bones for a long time but fortunately this is not the case anymore,” said FOUR PAWS veterinarian and rescue mission leader Dr. Amir Khalil. FOUR PAWS is a global animal welfare organization dedicated to rescuing domestic and wild animals from inhumane or disastrous conditions.

The "Train Tigers" now live happily at the LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary in Bethlehem, South Africa, in environments closer to their natural habitat.

No more metal cages, just open air, blue skies and soft grass.

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