Roaring news finds four Bengal tigers that have been safeguarded from captivity and will spend the remaining days of their lives in a big cat sanctuary located in South Africa.
The tigers lived in a train that was converted into an enclosure in the Argentine region of San Luis for more than 15 years. A traveling circus deserted the now 15-year-old female and 18-year-old male in San Luis in 2007. A neighborhood rancher consented to care for the pair for a time, however, the circus never returned to reclaim the tigers, and the pair ultimately ended up having two offspring.
While the Tigers have been rescued and most well-meaning folk attempt to intercede or save creatures in these types of circumstances, the reality is that especially with big cats, including tigers, if they aren’t performing, they are packed into confines so little that they can barely move around. This causes sores from lying on hard enclosure floors and abnormal ways of behaving – such as overgrooming or constant pacing – to cope with their stress and unpleasant surroundings. – and that’s just when it comes to the big cats.
Also, while there is just one species of tiger in the whole world, it is divided into smaller sub-species. There are six remaining sub-types of tiger: Amoy South or South China Tiger, Amur or Siberian Tiger, The Malayan Tiger, Sumatran Tiger, Indochinese Tiger, and finally the Bengal or Indian Tiger.
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The tigers, named Mafalda, Messi, Sandro, and Gustavo, presently call the LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary in Bethlehem, South Africa home.
“These tigers have never felt grass or earth under their paws,” said Dr. Amir Khalil, a veterinarian with Four Paws International, which led the rescue operation. “It’s the first time they can see the sky above them, not just metal bars and a roof.”
The difficulties of shipping these large felines from Argentina to South Africa were exceptionally perplexing, ranging from getting permits from the specialists of the two nations involved in organizing transport in the midst of the pandemic, with PCR tests on tigers included.
“They asked me why it is so urgent to move the tigers, why it is so important to move the tigers now. And my answer was: ‘if you are an innocent person and you have to go to prison for a week and someone asks you why you have to get out of jail the next day… Well, this is exactly what happened, these animals are innocent and they were imprisoned for 15 years’,” said Khalil.
LIONSROCK has safeguarded over 150 major felines from around the world. Which is excellent news when you look at the statistics of tigers in India published in 2014 which proposed that tiger numbers are currently expanding. However, most sources concur that all subspecies of tigers now live in only 7% of their original historical range. There are less than 2,000 Bengal Tigers left in the wild, and hunting along with human populace development are the main threats to them.
With such dwindled numbers, it’s quite striking when we see someone or a team or group doing what they can to ensure the safety of these beautiful creatures. Good job to all those involved in getting these tigers out of the enclosure they were trapped in, and setting their huge paws on our earth for the first time in their lives. Hopefully, they can live the full rest of their lives.