help for big cats

Thousands of big cats live in very poor conditions in circuses, zoos, and private ownership all across the world today. Uncontrolled breeding causes "surplus" animals that either end up dead or traded to unsuitable places.

FOUR PAWS believes that big cats should not be kept as pets or for entertainment. These wild animals suffer in captivity under inadequate keeping conditions including lack of expert care, frequent traveling, harsh training and intensive interaction with humans. 

FOUR PAWS calls for the improvement of legal standards regarding keeping conditions in certified zoological facilities and sanctuaries and demands a ban on other forms of captivity. Devising solutions for unwanted and illegally kept big cats plays a crucial role in our work. Our big cat sanctuaries and centers offer rescued big cats a species-appropriate home.

young lion

Big Cats in the U.S.

Exploitation and private ownership of big cats 

two lions

Big cats in zoos

Animal suffering on display

Captive lion at breeding farm

South Africa’s Big Cat Breeding Industry

FOUR PAWS is fighting to stop the captive breeding and keeping of lions and other big cats for commercial purposes in South Africa.

two lions - canned hunting

Canned Lion Hunting

Born to be killed: lion hunting in South Africa

two lions - canned hunting

Trophy Hunting

Killing and displaying wild animals as trophies

young lion cub looking at camera

Big Cat Rescue

How FOUR PAWS undertakes big cat rescues and provides lifelong care at our big cat sanctuaries 

tamer and tiger

Wild Animals in Entertainment

Animal suffering on tour


Tiger Trade

More tigers live in captivity than are left in the wild


10 Facts About Big Cats

How much do you know about these powerful feline predators? 


our big Cat sanctuaries & Rescue Centers

We provide species-appropriate homes for rescued big cats all over the world.

LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary

A species-appropriate home for over 100 rescued animals

Geretteter Tiger aus Syrien genießt die Abendsonne in FELIDA

FELIDA Big Cat Sanctuary

An intensive care sanctuary for big cats

TIERART Wild Animal Sanctuary

TIERART Wild Animal Sanctuary

An animal-friendly sanctuary of all shapes and sizes



Stories about our rescued big cats.

Lion Ivan-Asen in FELDIA 2018

Rescue Ivan-Asen

Rescued from a zoo in Bulgaria and brought to our FELIDA Big Cat Sanctuary

Lions Masoud and Terez

Rescue Masoud and Terez

Two Bulgarian lion cubs find a new home in our FELIDA Big Cat Sanctuary