Hearts for Tigers Appeal

June 15, 2018

Every year countless big cats end up in temporary rescue centres across Europe, all with a tragic story to tell. Whether they have been abandoned by private owners (who no longer want them after they outgrow the cute and cuddly phase) or have been subjected to cruelty or bad welfare in circuses, they all need a permanent home. Until they find one, other desperate animals must wait their turn to be saved.

During the last 40 years the Isle of Wight Zoo has given a home to more than 60 big cats. They have a dedicated, specialised team who work tirelessly to ensure the animals have had a safe, loving and enriching place to call home. Currently the Zoo’s big cat family totals 5 individuals who have come from a variety of backgrounds.

Antonella and Zoppa

Antonella and Zoppa

Mondo, Girona, Natasha, Zoppa and Antonella

The zoo is now providing forever homes to five rescued ex circus tigers: Mondo, Girona, Natasha, Zoppa and Antonella from Primadomus, a rescue centre in Spain run by the AAP Charity.  These tigers were born into a Spanish circus where they lived until they were handed over to Primadomus in November 2017. During their time at the circus they were kept in miserable and overcrowded conditions in a tiny concrete cage all for the benefit of providing entertainment for the public.

I recently travelled to Spain with Charlotte Corney, Founder of the Wildheart Trust, to meet the tigers and we were heartbroken to learn more about their story. Despite the trauma they have experienced the cats have not entirely lost their trust in people and greeted us with a tiger hello ‘chuff’.

In order to accommodate these extra tigers we must build new facilities which will cost £100,000. With your help we will be able to make the world of difference to these five tigers while freeing up vital space back in Spain for other emergency rescues.

You can follow the story of the Hearts for Tigers on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

You can donate here if you’d like to help.