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Victory! Suffering Lion Gets Help

Written by Michelle Kretzer | July 25, 2012

Update: Thanks to pressure by animal advocates, zoo officials have moved Diego to a larger enclosure, where he can now feel grass under his paws. They have also moved a lioness in with him, and he seems to be relishing the company of his new friend.

Published May 22, 2012:

Diego, a young lion, has spent most of his life alone in a cement and chain-link cage. Mexico’s wildlife protection agency, PROFEPA, seized him during a criminal investigation when Diego was just a few months old. PROFEPA placed Diego in the Zacango Zoo outside Mexico City, where he has languished in a barren cell, alone (lions are by far the most social of the big cats). Telemundo star Pablo Azar has teamed up with PETA to persuade PROFEPA—which has legal custody of Diego—to send the lonely lion to a U.S. sanctuary that is standing by to receive him.


Photographs and video footage provided to PETA depict Diego pacing incessantly in his tiny cage—behavior that is indicative of stress, boredom, and frustration.

In his letter to PROFEPA, Azar implored:

Diego’s life has no enrichment, and he paces back and forth in his tiny space, making it clear that he is losing his mind in this unnatural situation. … Please do the compassionate thing and see to it that Diego is transported to the United States as soon as possible so that he does not have to suffer another day.

At the sanctuary, Diego could finally enjoy the company of other lions, receive veterinary care, enjoy a vast space in which to roam and explore, and recover from the stress of intensive confinement

Urge Mexican officials to transfer Diego to the U.S. sanctuary.

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  • Krystin Karpinski says:

    FREE DIEGO!!! HE DESERVES AN ENJOYABLE LIFE!

  • Ursula says:

    Freedom for Diego!

  • Riol says:

    Freedom Diego

  • Mariela McCarthy says:

    Please let Diego go to a U.S Sanctuary. All animals deserve a better life!. Do the right thing Mexico.

  • Rossio Ray Benz says:

    El justo sabe que sus animales sufren, más el cruel no entiende de razones. Pro amor y respeto a la vida, merece vivir en un lugar mejor. Por favor. Hagan lo justo y lo realmente “humano”

  • Raquel Alarcon says:

    Por piedad, que absurdo y estúpido tener a un animal encerrado. Nacieron para ser libres.

  • MARIA JOSE FERNANDEZ says:

    freedom for Diego

  • Marisa Herrera says:

    It is cruel, unethical and unacceptable to keep wild animals, or any other animal, isolated, incarcerated and subjected to unnatural demeaning and inhumane environments. Lions, like any wild animal or other nonhuman animals, have social, biological and ecological needs that cannot be provided in a cage. According to Profepa, it’s of vital importance to care for animals; it’s part of their being. It’s ironic that, Profepa, the governmental agency responsible for the well being of Diego has made no effort to release him to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, U.S., who will provide the proper care and environment that Diego needs. Instead, Profepa keeps Diego in a cement and metal jail. Captive animals suffer physical, emotional and mental stress, Diego is no exemption. It’s time Profepa acts with integrity and puts bureaucracy and ego on the side. Profepa the world is watching – Release Diego!

  • Angeles says:

    Free Diego!!!

  • Adoración Urrusti Alonso says:

    It is unbeleivable Diego is still living there.what else can we do?

  • erika maldonado says:

    SELFISH… INSENSITIVE…AND more adjetives..what more do you need to leave him free? You abuse just because he cannot defend itself. we are its voice. We will do it for him

  • Elsa Castañeda Régagnon says:

    Ya basta con el trato que nuestras autoridades dan a los animales, hasta cuando van a dejar de ser tan ignorantes, no queremos un pais tercer mundista.

  • Sandra Menchaca says:

    Please send Diego to animal Sanctuary. He looks so sad and forsaken =’(

  • MARTHA MENDEZ says:

    me encantaria que DIEGO este en el santuario animal. por favor MEXICO DEMUESTRA TU CORAZON CON ESTE PEQUEÑITO ,SE UN EJEMPLO Y DALE SU LUGAR GRACIAS

  • Christina Lara Anguiano says:

    Queremos que Diego vaya al animal sanctuary.

  • Maricarmen Garcia says:

    Please, respect your promess to send Diego to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, US.

  • yadira samperio says:

    “Diego’s life has no enrichment, and he paces back and forth in his tiny space, making it clear that he is losing his mind in this unnatural situation. … Please do the compassionate thing and see to it that Diego is transported to the United States as soon as possible so that he does not have to suffer another day.

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