Mexico Sends 11 Big Cats and one Coyote to a Wildlife Sanctuary in the U.S.

Mexican environmental authorities loaded eight lions, two lynxes, a puma and a coyote aboard two military planes for a trip to a Colorado wildlife sanctuary on Wednesday August 26th, after the animals were found mistreated or abandoned.

The flight aboard two Mexican Navy transport aircraft was the second installment in an airlift that will eventually take about two dozen animals to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado.

The sanctuary tweeted a photo of one lion who had been rescued from Mexico:

Biologist Ignacio Millan said it was the first time Mexico’s Navy had participated in the animal relocation effort.

Millan said the lions, lynxes and puma had been taken from private homes, zoos or circuses where they were often mistreated.

Image: Excelsior

The coyote had been used in witchcraft ceremonies.

Millan said that nine tigers still remain to be transferred to the 720-acre sanctuary, where animals can roam.

Image: Excelsior

Mexico’s recently enacted ban on exotic animal performances in circuses is expected to increase the number of animals that are either abandoned or left in bad conditions, because many circus owners say they can’t afford to maintain non-performing animals.

Since Mexico recently enacted ban on exotic animals’ performances in circuses, the number of wild animals either mistreated or abandoned is expected to increase.