Monday 30 May 2022 | 15

Céleste, Hannah, Marli, and Patty transferred to Tuscany: a fantastic adventure

Céleste, Hannah, Marli, and Patty transferred to Tuscany: a fantastic adventure

Mis à jour le 01 September 2022

They made it! The transfer to Italy of four lions saved from the Cirque de Paris has happened. After months of preparation, this long journey represents the last step on the road to happiness for Céleste, Hannah, Marli, and Patty. They are now coming out into a vast haven of greenery in Tuscany, far from the Gougeon family. Help us to take care of them with our ‘ sponsorship ’ involvement (*), and thanks to those of you who have already supported them!

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Good news! On 11 May, Céleste, Hannah, Marli, and Patty arrived safe and sound in sunny Italy. Since we saved them from a circus in July 2020, the four lionesses have gone back to being strong and confident at the Tonga Terre d’Accueil sanctuary. The recent death of Jon had however affected them all profoundly. Nonetheless, with time, they had been able to mourn. Finally, after a year and a half of care and recovery, they were unrecognisable. Ready for the great journey to the Tuscan sanctuary of Animanatura that we have been preparing for for months. But what an expedition... twenty-four hours of travel awaited them!

An epic departure

On 10 May at seven o’clock in the morning, alongside the Tonga team, we were on the lookout to get the lionesses into the lorry, with all of the necessary precautions. Not having any idea what was awaiting them, they were not at all cooperative. The only solution to lead them up to the vehicle and lift them on board was to anaesthetise them. When opening the door of the enclosure, Hannah was the most awake. It was she who was shot first. Ten minutes later, she sank into unconsciousness and let herself be handled like a big, limp cat. With Céleste, it was a whole different ballgame. She paced, resisting the anaesthetic for several minutes... During this time, Marli found a way to remove the syringe by keeping it in her mouth, while Patty, despite being more docile, also tried to fight against the effects of the drug... Fortunately, at eleven minutes past eight, the four friends were finally snoring together. Once they had been put into their respective transport carriers, they woke up one by one and at quarter to nine, the convoy set off.

On the road to the unknown!

Thrown on the road to Tuscany, the majority of them were grumbling and only had one wish: to get the blood flowing in their legs! Alas, they had to be patient, and for a long time... Only the placid Patty seemed to accept the situation without batting an eyelid. Where were they going? None of the lionesses knew. One certainty: despite the frequent stops by the driver to give them a drink and make their journey the least difficult possible, the travellers did not like the adventure at all...

Paradise in the end

But arriving at the destination was an extraordinary relief. When the doors of the lorry were opened, everyone was struck with astonishment and marvel. An enchanting landscape unfolded as far as the eye could see with its green, woody hills. The wilderness welcomed those who had never come across it before... Amazed, they took their first steps, each in their own way, in this new environment: Céleste and Hannah burst out of the vehicle; Marli and Patty stepped forward warily and bewildered. For an hour, there was no question of exploring the immense 400 square metre enclosure that we reserved for them. Discovering the pre-enclosure, intended for them to make their first paw prints, and settling into their spacious stalls was already more than enough. After such a journey and so many emotions, they especially needed to recover and to be left in peace. Soon, they will be rolling in the lush grass, hiding behind foliage, scratching their claws on the tree trunks... And the best chapter of their lives will begin. Finally.

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

Marie-Sophie Bazin
Hr blog

In the subject

Justice for Jon, Céleste, Patty, Hannah, and Marli: hearing in Évreux against the Cirque de Paris Against all odds for Samba, the last ‘circus’ elephant, whose suffering has broken the State’s indifference

Comments 15

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Olivo | Monday 06 June 2022

Quel bonheur de voir ces 4 lionnes appréhender le bonheur, enfin. Longue et belle vie sous le ciel italien.
Merci à One Voice et les associations de sauver tous ces animaux.
Les politiques parlent très peu des animaux, trop occupés par leur petite personne.

Mme Loup | Thursday 02 June 2022

C'est une excellente nouvelle que celle du sauvetage des lionnes, Merci a VOUS !

trochu | Thursday 02 June 2022

Oui, merveilleux et fabuleux et comme cela fait du bien de voir ces animaux enfin libres, protégés et dans leurs milieux pratiquement naturels, que ce serait encore plus super de voir tous les animaux encore captifs et emprisonnés dans des cirques honteux ou même zoos, puissent eux aussi connaître et goûter à la liberté totale, à la protection auprès des leurs. J'espère vraiment que cela sera possible bientôt pour tous, car ce n'est que de la joie et du bonheur que de voir et savoir ces animaux sauvages libérés et protégés à jamais de leurs tortionnaires. Félicitations et merci merci à vous pour ces libérations bouleversantes et émouvantes.

MOUMOUNE | Wednesday 01 June 2022

Magnifique, quel bonheur pour ces grosses puces. Merci pour ce que vous faîtes aux animaux, de tout coeur avec vous, merci mille fois!!!!!