Our Stories

Amanda’s story

Amanda Marais was Emoya’s official photographer, documenting the arrival of the 33 lions at OR Tambo International Airport and the release at Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary. Here is her story and pictures of the incredible events that unfolded on 30 April and 1 May 2016 as...

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They’re home!

Thanks to the monumental efforts of ADI’s Operation Spirit of Freedom and all the supporters around the world, 33 lions rescued from circuses in South America have been brought home to Africa. Our lions arrived safely at OR Tambo International in Johannesburg on 30...

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We couldn’t have done it without you

How do you bring 33 lions back home to Africa? With the help of people like you. Thank you Animal Defenders International, thank Jan Creamer, thank you GreaterGood.org, thank you to the many organisations and businesses and individuals around the world who have given...

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The redheaded girl who loves lions

By Nicky Grandin...  Savannah Heuser has been helping big cats in need since she was 16 years old. She currently looks after 6 lions and 2 Siberian tigers at her Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary, which is based on her family’s farm in Limpopo, South Africa. Soon she will...

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Secret agents. Undercover video

“If you live on a desert island for all of your life, what would it feel like to suddenly hear a human voice?” Jan Creamer asks this question, but her tone suggests that she already knows the answer. She has spent four decades as an advocate, reconnecting mistreated...

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Smith and 32 others

Later this year, Smith and the 32 other lions will travel on a chartered Boeing 747 from the holding facility in Lima to Johannesburg, South Africa, and onto the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary, a 12,000-acre facility where the goal is to reintroduce Smith to his former mate,...

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Planning the transport

  We’re bringing them home to the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Limpopo, South Africa and it will be the biggest operation of its kind.   Thirty-three rescue lions will travel on a Boeing 747 from Animal Defenders International in South America to Johannesburg...

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Preparation for the 33 arrival

We’re bringing them home to the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Limpopo, South Africa and it will be the biggest operation of its kind. Thirty-three rescue lions will travel on a Boeing 747 from Animal Defenders International in South America to Johannesburg International....

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