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The Starlight 6: How are they today?

In honor of International Tiger Day, FOUR PAWS is highlighting our important work being done for tigers.


In 2013, we rescued six tigers from the Starlight Circus in Germany. These tigers had spent their lives in transport wagons or inadequate and small outdoor enclosures. When they weren't traveling, they were forced to perform unnatural acts in the circus.

Since their arrival at LIONSROCK in November 2013, all 6 "Starlight" tigers are thriving in their new home. Especially the 4 brothers who have recently lost some weight due to the increase in space, enrichment and activity.  All 6 tigers love to spend time in the water and it is for us still amazing to see them playing, swimming or just dipping. The 4 brothers also discovered the joy of climbing up trees and despite their size and weight they are surprisingly agile.


Except some minor issues, they had so far no serious health problems. Living directly next to each other, the 2 groups also interact quite a lot. Shir-Khan is the most dominant one of the 4 brothers and spends a lot of time stalking Khan on the other side of the fence.


Radja is very playful and always friendly towards humans. On feeding days she will jump playfully with excitement and is always the first one to get to the food.  Behavioral enrichment is regularly offered to them in the form of different objects, such as a big ball or ice blocks with frozen cow tails floating in the pool. Other objects like cardboard boxes or hessian bags filled with hey and spices are also popular and an interesting attractions.  


FOUR PAWS worked with the owner of the circus to transfer the tigers to LIONSROCK, where the tigers Khan, Radja, Douglas, Shir-Khan, Prinz, and Pascha can now spend their time swimming, climbing trees, and enjoying a spacious, natural environment.


This day serves as an important reminder as to why we at FOUR PAWS work to save and support these magnificent animals. Some of our greatest successes have allowed our rescued tigers to enjoy the next stage of their lives at LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary.


Currently, we care for fourteen resident LIONSROCK tigers from zoos, circuses, and other abusive situations. While we are proud of their rescues, we recognize that there is still much more work to be done. Whether they are being used for entertainment or raised for canned hunting, there are so many tigers experiencing a lack of compassion and humanity at the hands of humans.


Captive tigers are not the only ones affected. The world’s tiger population has dropped by 97% in the last century, from 100,000 to 3,500. There are more tigers now living in captivity than in the wild. Poaching is the greatest threat to tigers in the wild, and though FOUR PAWS does a great deal to help many tigers in captivity, we strive to improve the lives of all tigers both through individual rescue missions as well as pushing for animal welfare policy and legislative changes.


Please help us to continue this important work by supporting FOUR PAWS, which operates solely on the generous donations of compassionate people like you.