Located in Germany, the TIERART Wild Animal Sanctuary is run in cooperation with the association TIERART eV. The sanctuary gives big and wild cats, who have been rescued from bad keeping conditions, a lifelong home, as well as providing housing and rehabilitation for numerous other local wild animals. The sanctuary opened in 2001 and began working with FOUR PAWS in 2013.
To find out more about the daily activities at TIERART Wild Animal Sanctuary, we interviewed site manager, Florian Eiserlo, who has been at the sanctuary since March 2016! Florian gives us an exclusive look behind the scenes!
Can you describe an average day at work?
After starting the day with my dog Melly, we go to the office around 7:30 am. Most of the day I work at my desk: planning construction projects and daily routines for staff, online meetings and contacts with authorities, suppliers and construction companies. I also handle many administrative tasks, telephone calls, and other financial business.
Sometimes, I have to solve technical problems on-site, take a look at injured animals brought in, help the technical worker with various jobs or help the animal caretakers in their daily routines. Creating work plans and operating procedures, and, well… just about anything else! Sometimes you can‘t plan your day because very often unexpected things happen, such as rescue actions of wild animals.
What's the most unusual experience you've had working at the sanctuary?
Working together with a fun and silly black sheep called LuLu who thinks she is a human. I also, unfortunately, very often experience unusual or even frightening moments with other people who have an absolutely absurd relationship with animals. This includes keeping cougars as pets in the apartment, keeping raccoons in bird cages, leaving sheep to die on rubbish food tips, or cuddling with tigers. It is simply unimaginable what kind of ideas people come up with.
What's one thing that makes your job feel special?
Working for our animals and giving them a new and protected life.
What has been one of the most gratifying or memorable parts of your job?
The rescue of the circus tigers, Sahib & Jill.
What is one of the most challenging aspects of working with animals/working at the sanctuary?
Ensuring the safety and satisfaction for our animals, our team, and our visitors.
What is one of your favorite things about working in the sanctuary?
We work for our animals and try to show people a better view and understanding of how animals should be treated.
Do you have a favorite animal at the sanctuary? If so, why?
None in particular; all are important to me. Our tigers, for example Bela and Sharuk, or our raccoons and the sheep have all had their individual tragic stories, and each one of them has their own character!
How has your work at the sanctuary changed your life and impacted your family/friends/community?
Working at FOUR PAWS has changed my personal attitude towards animal welfare, especially with regard to the consumption of meat or the keeping of exotic pets. For me, my work in the sanctuary has become a life task.