33 rescued lions settling into new home

The lions arrived in South Africa over the weekend and most have been declawed.

file: Thirty-three abused rescued lions arrived at OR Tambo airport on 30 April 2016, from where they were transported to their new home in natural enclosures at Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Limpopo. Picture: Louise McAuliffe.

JOHANNESBURG - The Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Limpopo says 33 circus lions rescued from Peru and Columbia are now settling into their new home.

The lions arrived in South Africa over the weekend; most have been declawed and many have broken teeth, making it unsafe for them to return to the wild.

The sanctuary's Savannah Heuser says they are now in a safe environment.

"These cats were brutally treated. They were beaten in the face to such an extent that most of them most of their teeth were broken. Unfortunately they cannot be released into the wild because they don't have claws and they will never be able to sustain themselves."

WATCH: Roaring rescued lions free at last