Cape Town - Maggie and Sonja, two eight-year-old lionesses tormented and forced to perform painful and degrading tricks for food, will soon be free to roam at Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape.
The Mirror.co.uk reports the big cats were rescued thanks to desperate animal charity workers who had swooped on the cruel Zirkus Las Vegas show in Hamburg, but they are now destined for a better life in South Africa.
Suffering from open sores and wounds as well as being dangerously underweight, the animals were initially transported to Belgium for intensive rehabilitation treatment, including treatment to save Maggie's severely damaged tail.
On Tuesday though, the lionesses arrived to much fanfare at Heathrow Airport and are now en-route to Shamwari where their arrival is being eagerly anticipated.
Once there, Maggie and Sonja will trade small cages and terrible tricks for the freedom of the British animal charity Born Free rescue and education centre.
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