- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

KEENESBURG, Colo. (AP) - An elderly former circus bear is too frail to join a flight bringing 33 lions from South America to a Colorado refuge and instead will live out her days in a specially constructed habitat in her native Peru.

Animal Defenders International announced on its website that Cholita, an Andean bear like the fictional Paddington, is at the top end of her natural lifespan and is prone to stress. Kennesburg’s Wild Animal Sanctuary Executive Director Pat Craig said ADI officials last week notified the sanctuary and donors that Cholita won’t be making the trip next month.

Cholita and the lions were rescued by ADI from outlawed circuses and local traveling animal shows in Peru and Colombia. The sanctuary is also home to 25 lions rescued in 2011 from circuses in Bolivia.

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