- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

KEENESBURG, Colo. (AP) - An international animal rescue group says an elderly former circus bear will join a flight bringing 33 lions from South America to a Colorado refuge next month.

Animal Defenders International announced Monday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will issue an import permit allowing entry to Cholita, an Andean bear like the fictional Paddington.

The group earlier announced plans to bring the lions from Peru and Colombia to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg and then launched a campaign to bring Cholita as well. The animals were originally set to arrive the first week of April but the flight was delayed until April 20 in case its application to bring the bear was successful.

ADI says Cholita has been living in a zoo after being confiscated from a Peruvian circus.

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