Watch: Mountain Lion Set Free After 20 Years Will Warm Your Heart


Is there anything as beautiful as watching a captive wild animal get set free? I was shedding some major tear-age watching this video; such a beautiful animal! (And don’t big cats always remind you of the smaller ones in your life?)

Watch as Mufasa, the last wild animal in a Peruvian circus, is cut free from his chains and walks free after 20 years. After Peru banned wild animals in circuses, most circuses defied the law.

One by one Animal Defenders International tracked them down and removed the animals.

Finally in a dramatic stand-off, during which riot police were called, the last circus was cornered and Mufasa was cut from his chains. The aged mountain lion is too old to be released into the forest, but he is now in a reserve in the jungle that’s pretty darn close (and safer for him) to his natural habitat. Happy retirement Mufasa!

FIND OUT MORE AND HOW YOU CAN HELP give Mufasa the life the circus stole from him:

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.