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Last Updated: Saturday August 19 2006 12:28 GMT

Homes hunted for Brazilian lions

A lion
Authorities in Brazil are hunting down new homes for 68 former circus lions that have been abandoned.

Recent changes to the law in Brazil have meant lots of circuses aren't allowed to use lions in their shows, so many have chosen to abandon them.

In one recent rescue police found five ill looking lions wandering around near a road in the state of Minas Gerais.

Abandoned lions are being looked after in all sorts of places, with one living on a town's football field.

Others are living in police stations or temporary cages until places can be found for them in zoos.

In another part of Brazil a group of lions still living with a circus were described as being just skin and bone, and had infections that made them lose their fur.

The Brazilian environment agency, Ibama, wants all lions in Brazil to have operations to stop them having cubs, and is trying to stop new lions being taken to the country from Africa.

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