Life isn’t always terrible: handicapped Lebanese kittens adopted by Europeans!  »

It’s been a really awful weekend for news, capped by a Sunday-evening radio program about the likelihood of different apocalypse scenarios—if the nukes don’t kill use, the nuclear winter will—so imagine my joy when I came across this update from Animals Lebanon. Remember Animals Lebanon, the organization that saved Omega the chimpanzee from being a roadside attraction? I follow them on Facebook; they rescue so animals, they’re amazing.

Today they announced that four kittens that had all been found with serious injuries were off to their new homes in Europe. People really love kittens! Minoush here had been “hit by a car and left on the side of the road for days,” and had a fractured pelvis. She’s since been adopted by “a nice lady in Holland” who is going to get her the veterinary care she needs to be able to walk again. You guys, my heart.

There are three other kittens whose terrible stories end with adoption; if you need a little cheering up on this bleak Monday, I suggest you read them right away.

[image via Animals Lebanon]


Bolivia’s ban on circus animals leads to rescue and rehoming of 25 lions!  »

In November of last year, Animals Lebanon rescued a chimpanzee from his life as a literal roadside attraction in Lebanon, and rehomed him at a sanctuary in Brazil. This month, Animal Defenders International celebrates a similar victory, as 24 former circus lions were rescued from Bolivia and rehomed at the Wild Animal Sanctuary in “the open plains of Colorado, just 30 miles northeast of Denver.” And soon, they’ll have a 25th rescued lions! Hooray!

These lions came from different circuses all over the country, and all their stories are so sad. One had been kept in the same metal box she was came in when she was purchased as a cub. One is completely freaked out by brooms and other cleaning implements, as though he had had experienced some cleaning-equipment-related trauma before. You don’t mean to imply that people might have beaten him with brooms, do you? YES, YES WE DO. Some of them have trouble eating, behaving as though they are “convinced that the food is going to be taken away again.”

Obviously, circus animal abuse is not endemic to Bolivia—in fact, since 2009 Bolivia is the first and only country in the world “to put in place a national ban on the use of any and all animals in circuses.” FIRST and ONLY. Don’t you love comparing other countries to the U.S. and seeing how terrible we make it for animals here?

ADI reports that all of the rescued lions are adapting relatively well to their great big new living areas. Congratulations to the efforts of everyone involved in Operation Lion Ark: this is beautiful, heartening news.

UPDATE: A couple of you noted that China passed a similar law, which Laura posted about last week! Bolivia remains the only country to have outright banned using animals—domestic and wild!—in circuses; China no longer allows animal-exclusive circuses, and its protections for performing animals look quite strong. U.S. circuses, however, remain the devil’s work.

[photos via thanks to for the tip!}


Nonprofit rescues Omega, the chain-smoking chimp and sends him to sanctuary! Yay!   »

So, you know how chimpanzees are stolen from their moms (who are often killed and used for bush meat) when they’re a couple months old and are cute and cuddly little playthings? Then some shortsighted person in not-Africa “raises” them until they’re about five or six years old, until they grow big and strong and start biting fingers off their human “parents” or trainers or patrons at restaurants in Lebanon where they are forced to dance for food? When that happens, they are often sent to labs, breeders, or roadside zoos in fucked up places. That’s the backstory on our pal Omega, the chain-smoking chimp in Lebanon. He had a fucked up childhood, dancing like a monkey (HE IS NOT A MONKEY) at some restaurant, and when he got too big, he was sold to a creepy piece of shit zoo in Lebanon where he LIVES IN A CAGE and HAS NO FRIENDS and CHAIN-SMOKES CIGARETTE BUTTS. Ah, humans! We are so rad! 

But here’s some good news! The nonprofit Animals Lebanon took on the task of getting Omega into a sanctuary. In fact, Animals Lebanon, re-homed all the animals in the shit-tastic zoo. Yay them! They found a home for Mr. Omega 10,000 miles away in Brazil, at the Curitiba Sanctuary, which looks like a huge step up for the big guy. You can read Animals Lebanon’s recounting of getting Omega to the sanctuary here (it’s a good read!).

But Animals Lebanon isn’t stopping there; they’re attempting to pass legislation that tightens regulations concerning animal welfare. LOVE these people! If you’re interested in helping them, they have a wish list of things they desperately need. I know, we’re screwed enough right here at home without having to worry about everyone else but hey, maybe you have a computer you could send their way? Or get your company to donate something they need? Seriously, we’re so lucky here, why not support these people who are at ground zero, trying to get chain-smoking chimps in wire cages sent to a place where they can climb on trees and clear their lungs for the first time in their lives?

[photo of Omega from Animals Lebanon]

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