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London Event To Showcase Animal Planet Episode Devoted To Epic Animal Rescue

2 years ago

11th June, 2018 21h25

Animal Defenders International

London-based animal protection group Animal Defenders International (ADI) is to host a special event in the capital dedicated to its rescue work.

An evening rescuing monkeys and lions’ will feature ADI President Jan Creamer and Vice President Tim Phillips, who will host a Q&A and report on the latest rescues. In addition, they will screen an episode of Animal Planet’s new Dodo Heroes series devoted entirely to an epic ADI rescue mission, the first opportunity to view the show worldwide.

DATE:    Friday 22nd June 19:30 - 21.30
VENUE:    Karamel Restaurant, 4 Coburg Road, London N22

TICKETS:    £6. Purchase here:

Proceeds go to ADI’s Guatemala rescue and new wildlife sanctuary in South Africa.

The ‘Dodo Heroes’ themselves, Creamer and Phillips, will also appear at similar events in North Carolina, New York City, Los Angeles and Arizona in the US between 27th June and 8th July.

The show’s incredible story begins when, after a law is passed in Peru banning wild animal circus acts, ADI is invited to help the authorities enforce the law. Operation Spirit of Freedom is born and a team headed up by Creamer and Phillips get to work, building a temporary rescue centre from scratch, and travelling the length and breadth of the country to track down the illegal circuses and save every animal. Highlights include the transformation of lonely spider monkey Pepe and the battle to save and reunite a lion family torn apart.

ADI Vice President Tim Phillips says, “This is a joyous and uplifting story about giving animals from circuses, who have endured so much, their lives back. We see what it means for animals to be reunited with their own kind, how the damage done by their captors can be repaired, and how when they are given space, they burst into life. It tells an important story about the treatment of animals but will also leave people smiling.”

The ADI team spends many months bringing the animals back to better health, allowing their true personalities to shine through. Plans are made for their relocation to their forever homes, and, for some, release into the wild. Native animals, including Pepe, are relocated to lush habitats at sanctuaries in the Amazon, while Kiara and her family go home to Africa with the other lions, ADI continuing to fund their ongoing care.

During the 20-month mission, more than 100 animals are rescued, including 33 lions, a tiger, mountain lion, four spectacled bears, and over 30 monkeys. Many of the native animals were trafficked from the wild.

 ADI President Jan Creamer says: “This heartwarming film reveals the inbuilt desire of these intelligent, emotional animals to be with their own kind, in nature, where they belong. We hope it will help highlight the urgent need to change our relationship with the other species who share our planet – for our own sake, as well as theirs.

This is a story with a happy ending, but other animals are in need. With a ban on wild animal circus acts passed in Guatemala, ADI is now working to rescue a number of big cats, who will be relocated to a new wildlife sanctuary it is establishing in South Africa. Urgent funds are needed to feed and care for the animals over the coming months, and take them to their new home. To help give the Guatemala animals their first taste of freedom by donating to their care, please go to:

The episode will also premiere on the Animal Planet channel at 9pm on June 30.

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