Mufasa, a 20-year-old mountain lion, was captured as a cub and has spent his entire life as a circus animal chained to the back of a pickup truck in Peru.
After Peru banned wild animals in circuses in 2011, the Animal Defenders International got a tip that a circus was still operating illegally in a remote area of northern Peru. So, they set out on a mission to rescue the big cat.
Police and wildlife officers accompanied them, which was necessary because the rescuers are often met with resistance.
After a dramatic stand-off that lasted 8 hours, during which riot police were called, Mufasa was handed over.
The heavy harness and shackles that were wrapped around his body for so many years were finally broken.
ADI brought Mufassa to their rescue centre where he was nursed back to health for several months before being transported to his new home on a nature reserve in the Amazon rainforest.
Watch Mufassa’s journey from chains to his return to the forest in the video below.