Saving Bulgaria's Last Circus Tiger
Update: 9-22-2015 - Varvara explores her new outdoor enclosure
Faster than expected, Varvara – the last Bulgarian circus tiger – was ready to leave her indoor enclosure. Just two days after her arrival the abused tigress was curious enough to leave her smaller indoor enclosure. Just several minutes ago, we opened the doors and Varvara ran outside immediately and started to explore her new home closely. After twelve years of living in a tiny cage, the former circus tiger finally has a natural environment in which to start living the life of a tiger. Varvara, we are watching your first steps into this “freedom” with tears in our eyes and are filled with peace and happiness that, after months of negotiations, we could finally free you from your tiny prison!
Update: 9-18-2015 - Varvara is home!
We are here: FINALLY. A long and exhausting ride via several European countries has come to an end in Germany. We have finally arrived in our big cat centre in TIERART. Varvara will now be released into her indoor enclosure, which is a smaller area where she can get used to her new environment. As soon as she is ready, we’ll open the door to her outdoor enclosure. Exactly when this moment happens always depends on the individual character of an animal. Some are curious enough to find out what’s behind that door after several hours, others need several weeks. We want Varvara to be as calm as possible before we release her into her big enclosure. As she has stayed in tiny cages for her whole life, this might be an overwhelming experience for her. Take your time, Varvara. You have suffered for so long. It’s worth the wait until you are ready. Stay tuned to follow her first steps into her big outdoor enclosure soon. We’ll keep you posted here and on social media.
© Hristo Vladev
Update: 09-17- 2015 - We have arrived in Germany
Earlier than expected, we passed the German border and are now on our way to our big cat centre in TIERART, where Varvara will find a new home. Everything went very smoothly and Varvara is doing well in her crate. Soon she will be able to leave it and move into her new home in TIERART. We'll keep you updated about Varvara's journey!
© FOUR PAWS | 2015
Update: 9-17-2015 - The journey to Germany begins
Varvara was checked medically under anaesthesia. She’s now slowly waking up in her crate. The transfer can start as soon as Varvara is awake again. Animals that were given anaesthesia need to be fully awake before being transferred to ensure that they can balance themselves in the transport crates and breathe normally . As always when we are transferring big cats, a experienced vet team is accompanying us. This time we have an international team with veterinarians from Bulgaria, Germany and Austria led by Johanna Payner from Leibnitz - Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research. We’ll keep you posted about her journey from Bulgaria to Germany.
Due to the current migrant crises, we were told at the romanian-hungarian border to change our travel route. We will now go via Slovakia and the Czech Republic and not via Hungary and Austria. We'll keep you informed during our journey!
© VIER PFOTEN | 2015
© FOUR PAWS | 2015
This is Varvara. She is the last circus tiger in Bulgaria. She spent her whole life in either a tiny cage or in the circus performing tricks to a noisy audience. In January 2015, she performed for the last time as a new ban on wild animals in circuses went into effect.
Her suffering did not end there. Unfortunately, her owner wasn’t able to offer her a species-appropriate home. She was kept in a tiny cage on a circus wagon for the last couple of months where she could hardly turn around. Fortunately, we stepped in!
FOUR PAWS has managed to reach an agreement with the owner. We are allowed to take Varvara with us to a new life at our santuary. Her journey into a better life starts now. In the coming days we will be featuring our story of Varvara's journey to her new home at our new big cat centre in TIERART.