Twenty-five lions rescued from Bolivia are bound for a new and better life Wednesday, once they get their paws on the ground after a $200,000 flight to Colorado.
Advocates say the lions were living in miserable conditions, mostly in circuses. But a law took effect in Bolivia last year prohibiting all animal performances.
Animal Defenders International is underwriting Wednesday's planned airlift from the steamy lowlands city of Santa Cruz to Denver, where the 13 males and 12 females will move into a nearby wild animal sanctuary.
To acclimatize them, the sanctuary has built a 15,000-square-foot biosphere.
It will cost about $8,000 a year to maintain each lion. That is $200,000 a year.
The Associated Press contributed to this content.