March, 2018: We have successfully transferred Masoud and Terez from illegal keeping at the Bulgarian Razgrad Zoo to their new home at FELIDA. Due to the reluctance of local authorities to hand the lion cubs over to the care of FOUR PAWS, the on-site team was confronted with a tense situation given the serious health condition of one of the cubs. After mass protests against the transfer of the cubs to another substandard zoo, we eventually gained permission to transfer the cubs over a week later.
"We are very happy that the situation took a positive turn and that we could bring Masoud and Terez to species-appropriate surroundings. Given Terez' health condition, he urgently needs daily monitoring and a special diet to treat his maldevelopment. From now on, they can recover from their past suffering"
Dr. Marina Ivanova, veterinarian and Country Director of FOUR PAWS Bulgaria
Zoo without license
Razgrad Zoo opened in 1960 and is located in north-eastern Bulgaria. Although its license expired in 2014, the zoo remains open to visitors for free, and is financed by the unprofessional breeding and sale of lions. Currently, many animals of different species – including lions, deer, reindeer, llamas, foxes, hogs and birds – live in the illegal zoo. Since the city owns the zoo, FOUR PAWS convinced the mayor of Razgrad to intervene. At the end of last year, an international team of veterinarians provided medical care to all seven lions and sterilised two adult males.
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Home to many big cats
The lion cubs will temporarily live at our FELIDA Big Cat Centre, which is located in the Dutch town of Nijeberkoop. By taking over the project in 2014, we also assumed responsibility for the big cats that were already housed there at the time. As FELIDA was primarily intended to serve as a transit and rehabilitation centre, we moved most of the wild animals to our Big Cat Sanctuary LIONSROCK in South Africa. Six other tigers, including the two young tigers we rescued from Syria, live in the Dutch big cat centre. Most of them are too old or weak to be transferred. In the future, we plan to relocate the facility so that even more big cats can be rescued from poor keeping conditions and placed into large close-to-nature enclosures.