The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper column-inches than any other cryptozoological subject. There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived by us in some way, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in.
Curated by Carl Marshall and Olivia McCarthy
Monday, 25 May 2015
NEWSLINK: FOUR PAWS transfers family of six tigers to a new life in South African sanctuary
International animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has successfully transferred a family of six Siberian tigers from its Big Cat Centre FELIDA in the Netherlands to the vast plains of it big cat sanctuary LIONSROCK, in South Africa.
At LIONSROCK, the six tigers – two parents and their four offspring – will have the opportunity to live a life fit for a tiger in huge enclosures under the South African sun, feeling grass under their paws, having the opportunity to run, to play and to swim in the specially built pools.
Heli Dungler, founder and president of FOUR PAWS, was there to witness the happy moment as the tigers made their first steps into their new home. “The animals arrived safely at LIONSROCK,” Dungler said. “They originally come from very bad keeping conditions. The long trip from the Netherlands to South Africa was more than worth it. Here in LIONSROCK these tigers can start a second life appropriate to their needs.”
The story of the parents, Cromwell and Juno, began in 2000 in Britain, at Dartmoor Wildlife Park, where the two tigers, along with four other tigers and two jaguars, were bred to be sold. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the sale of the animals was no longer possible, and as the animals were kept in enclosures that were no longer safe, they were moved to a shelter in the Netherlands named Pantera (later taken over by FOUR PAWS and renamed FELIDA).
For the two jaguars a new home was quickly found, and the six tigers were supposed to move to a safari park in China. Then, with the outbreak of bird flu, the animals could not be transported. Finally in 2004 four tigers were allowed to leave for China. Cromwell and Juno stayed in the Netherlands and together they had two litters, three sons and a daughter, who also lived with them in the shelter.