Mountain lion returned to forest after 20 Years watch Amazing moment of Freedom
February 1st, 2016 | by Web Desk
Ever been punished for a crime you did not commit? Apparently, Mufasa was. His only crime was that he was a mountain lion. That was enough for a traveling Peruvian circus to capture him, and use him to earn profits. In June, 2011, Peruvian government banned use of animals in circuses, but for Mufasa the days and nights were just the same as before. He remained chained, watching the dogs, cats, and rats enjoy more freedom than him. What must his life have been with chains on the back of a rusty old pick up truck, in the company of rusting circus equipment can only be imagined. Mufasa suffered this fate for 20 years because he’d been captured as a cub. This majestic animal became a mere spectacle, a way to entertain crowd. But Mufasa was to become important in history. He became the last wild animal to ever have been used in any Peruvian circus, thanks to Animal Defenders International’s efforts.
The entire well meaning lion rescue operation began with chains being removed and him being transported in a large cage. For the first time, the adult mountain lion moved about a cage for his pleasure rather than to entertain crowds. But his freedom experiences were not confined to mere movements in cage. ADI personnel filled the cage’s floor with soft straw and lion slept like a baby possibly for the first time since his ordeal began. While being transported the cage was covered with dark colored polythene sheet to prevent sun’s harsh rays from burning Mufasa’s skin. The rainy season also did not deter ADI personnel from continuing on their path. With Mufasa’s cage at the back of a larger truck, covered with the same dark colored polythene sheet, they continued on their way to Mufasa’s new home, Tambopata reserve within Peru’s Amazonian forest.
The lion seemed to have learned plenty of lessons at being meek because transfer from larger cage to a smaller cage that could be carried across the river on a boat was not a big problem for ADI personnel. It was a very touching moment for ADI personnel to release the animal in the habitat he possibly felt nostalgic about. Mufasa did not stop. He went on using scent to find his way on the dark soil of the jungle surrounding by trees and greenery. There seemed nothing to fear here.
It has been argued that this rescue mission may have been led to Mufasa’s death in December 2015. After all, the circus owners did feed him and so he possibly would never know how to hunt as well as other mountain lions. But the fact is that Mufasa was also old. He certainly did not deserve to die on the floor of an old pick up van. If only Mufasa could have expressed his feelings, we would know whether this lion rescue was worth it, and whether Mufasa’s freedom experiences held some value for him.