Cape Town – 33 rescued lions now await the flight to South Africa after a life of brutality in the circuses of South America. The Independent UKdescribes the now playful life these rescued lions are living compared to a horrific one, we would never wish on our worst enemy.

24 lions have been rescued from Peruvian circuses, reports the Independent UK. Animal Defenders International (ADI) seized the lions with the help of local authorities. The British charity has campaigned for Peru’s national 2011 national ban.

The Independent UK reports the lions endured years of abuse under the Peruvian circus. According the paper, they animals were fed chicken feet and only left their small cages for parading for the circuses.

In November, the lions will be joined with nine other rescued lions from Colombia on a chartered plane to a South African sanctuary. This will be the largest airlift of lions in aviation history reports the Independent UK. According to ADI president Jan Creamer, many lions have had the claws extracted, undeveloped muscles and broken teeth, because of abuse. Some lions are blind.

These great cats are now enjoying things all cats do in a temporary rescue home in Lima, Peru. Compared to the domestic house cat, lions have similar taste in toys and snacks – although varying in quantity. A chew on a traffic cone or a treat from massive bag of catnip may be lived in a matter of seconds, but the lions are being nursed back to health.

 The Independent reported that the lions lack the crucial hunting skills they need to survive in the wild.

The lions will move to Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Limpopo.

Earlier this year Emoya pledged a cry to help 33 lions in need of a magic carpet to South Africa. The lions have been rescued and are being micro chipped for tracking, reports the Independent.