Sweet, elderly ex-circus lions Jose and Liso were killed by poachers after just over a year of peace under the African sun. A gang broke into Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary and Jose and Liso were poisoned by the intruders, then skinned and their heads, feet and tails removed.  This horrific crime is a new and growing threat facing sanctuary animals and we must fight back to get justice for Jose and Liso and protect other vulnerable animals. 

Please help us end the killings with a donation to the Jose and Liso Anti-Poaching Fund today.  


José and Liso were seized from a circus in Peru and enjoyed almost three years in our loving careWe saw them transform from fearful, stressed and unhappy lions to confident, playful and content beings. After a terrible life of suffering and abuse in the circus, José and Liso were free. It had taken a decade of work to save them.


José suffered brain damage from blows to the head in the circus and had difficulty judging distances. After we took the boys, and more than 30 other lions home to Africa, we built a special enclosure with lower platforms and less bush for Jose to bump into.  José was progressively less able to judge distances but Liso would guide him around.


In May 2017, a gang broke into Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary and killed these lifelong friends. The autopsy confirmed Jose and Liso had ingested a huge amount of poison and died very quickly. Their body parts were removed after death.


Africa has been a sanctuary for us, as it is for many international animal protection groups. For over two decades, our rescued big cats have been safe.  Now, there is a new and terrible, growing threat.  With a huge international legal and illegal trade in the body parts of wild animals, attacks by poachers on animals in captivity is spreading across the world, and growing all over South Africa. 


The José & Liso Anti-Poaching Fund will support the creation of new dedicated anti-poaching units to catch the poachers and protect vulnerable animals. With your support, we can get justice for our dear old boys and save other animals from this horrific crime.


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