Last year, the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary welcomed 33 new lions to its arid expanse in northern South Africa. The arrivals, all former circus performers in Peru and Colombia, had been flown across the globe to live out their lives in a habitat foreign to them but natural to their species. Among them were Jose and Liso, two middle-aged cats that were given a shared enclosure because they seemed to adore each other.
The pair’s refuge was short-lived. Last week, poachers breached fences and evaded armed guards, then fatally poisoned Jose and Liso, skinned them and removed their heads, tails and paws.