(11 Jan 2007)
1. Wide of statues of Ana Julia Torres who runs the animal shelter and Jupiter the lion
2. Mid of Torres and Jupiter statues
3. Jupiter the lion hugging Torres
4. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Ana Julia Torres, Runs Animal Shelter:
“Jupiter is wonderful, he is a feline but I call him kid and he is a love come true. It is amazing to see an animal like that be so sweet and affectionate. I say that this hug is the most sincere one that I have received in my life.”
5. Pull-out from close-up to wide of Jupiter the lion drinking
6. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Ana Julia Torres, Runs Animal Shelter:
“Normally the felines that are brought here by local administrative authorities, some of them used to belong to drug dealers, some came from circuses, some of them have been donated and some simply abandoned.”
7. Pull-out from close-up of cheetah
8. Pan of tiger
9. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Ana Julia Torres, Runs Animal Shelter
“I’m just a teacher, with the funds that we get from some of the students and private donations help us buy food. But we are woman that do not smoke or drink or party. We dedicate our lives to the care of these animals without one single peso from the state.”
10. Two tigers walking to Torres and kissing her
11. Mid of fox in shelter
12. Tilt-down of owl
13. Mid of mountain lion
An African lion who was rescued six years ago from a life of abuse and malnutrition in a travelling circus appeared so grateful to his rescuer that he hugged and kissed her, AP Television footage showed.
Ana Julia Torres, who runs the Villa Lorena animal shelter in Cali, Columbia, fed and nursed Jupiter the lion back to health and the pair appear to have formed a special bond.
“It is amazing to see an animal like that be so sweet and affectionate, said Torres. “This hug is the most sincere one that I have received in my life.”
Torres, 47, said her work rehabilitating animals began more than a decade ago when a friend gave her an owl that had been kept as a pet.
Later, when she asked her students to bring their pets to school, she realised many families illegally kept wild fauna from Colombia’s biologically diverse jungles in their homes.
The number of animals under her care grew, and now Jupiter is among 800 recovering creatures at Villa Lorena, where Torres looks after, among others, burned peacocks, limbless flamencos, blind monkeys and mutilated elephants.
Most of the animals are caged, though some, like iguanas, roam freely around the grounds of the shelter which are enclosed by a 13-foot (about 4 metre) wall.
Torres said she relies on donations and her modest teachers salary to to run the shelter.
“We dedicate our lives to the care of these animals without one single peso from the state,” Torres said.
Inside the shelter there is a monument that the state governor dedicated in recognition of Torres’ work.
Torres said many of the animals were rejected as infants by their parents in the wild or found abandoned on the streets of Cali, a city of two (m) million.
Others were rescued from cruel treatment by owners.
“Normally the felines that are brought here by local administrative authorities, some of them used to belong to drug dealers, some came from circuses, some of them have been donated and some simply abandoned,” Torres said.
One mountain lion kept illegally as a pet had its two front legs cut off by its owner after it clawed a family member’s face.
Torres said because she opposes exhibiting animals in circuses she decided to keep her shelter closed from the public.
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