Lions Reza and Aya
On March 21st 2015, AAP saved four big cats from a rather horrid life. Lions Reza and Aya, together with tigers Radja and Kai, were the first four large felines to find refuge at AAP’s Spanish animal sanctuary Primadomus. All four animals have lived in circus trailers, right next to a highway in France, for over thirteen years... Thirteen years without proper space to move, every now and then a meal and no form of medical care. In this clip you can watch the emotional rescue of Reza, Aya, Radja and Kai.
After a while at AAP Primadomus, we could see both lions liven up again. First the two of them were housed separately, since they didn’t have contact with each other before. However, on their first day in the outside enclosure, the caretakers saw the immediate recognition between the two. And after a period of settling down, they decided to introduce Reza to Aya. Both could get along together amazingly well and the introduction was a big success. Curious about their first day in the outside enclosure? Click here!
By and by Reza got better and he slowly gained some muscle tissue. Aya, on the other hand, is still a bit heavy. She is on a diet, and with the proper care and enough exercise she, too, will reach her ideal weight. At AAP, we think it´s important to regularly stimulate our animals, mentally as well as physically, through enrichment. To celebrate World Lion Day, the caretakers made something special for our king of the jungle and, of course, for his beautiful queen. Soon Aya her instinct took over, which is a promising sign that even thirteen years of suppression is by definition permanent. Reza, on the other hand, sat by and watched. He let Aya have her fun with the ´prey´ and did what he does best: keep watch from a nice place in the shade. And that’s what makes him king of the jungle!
Tigers Radja and Kai
Tigers Radja and Kai were rescued from the same horrible life which Reza and Aya suffered. After thirteen years in tiny cages by the side of the road, the two tigers could finally rest at AAP Primadomus. Even though the rescue was eventually successful, not everything went according to plan. Kai suffered a cardiac arrest due to the tranquilizer, even though all animals were given the same one. Luckily, the team did what they do best and Kai survived. In this clip you watch the emotional rescue of Reza, Aya, Radja and Kai.
Tigers are solitary animals that usually only meet one another during mating season. However, for animals held in captivity, having a companion could be very nice. Radja and Kai shared a grand enclosure in Primadomus in which they could play together or keep some distance when wanted. After only a little while, the caretakers noticed their transformation in appearance. They were well on their way to become strong and agile tigers. Kai loved his pool so much, if it were possible to live in it, he would. Want to see their first day in their outside enclosure? Click here!
In celebration of International Tiger day, the caretakers decided to give the two tigers a little treat. They made a cardboard ‘prey’, and to make this fake prey even more appealing, they scented it with catnip or cinnamon. Kai was very fond of his prey and even took it to his pool. Unfortunately for Kai, cardboard and water aren’t the best combination in the world. His joy was grand, but lasted shortly. For Radja, the whole experience of a ‘prey’ was a bit more exciting. It was for Radja hard to cope with the fact that a hanging prey – made from cardboard – swings back at you when you push it away.
Mid-march, both Radja and Kai moved to their permanent home in Córdoba Zoo in Spain. They live in a large enclosure, with a pool for Kai. We will surely miss them – and their antics, but we know they have a bright future ahead of them. Click here for a little impression of those antics.
Lions Mojito and Tintín
Cubs Mojito and Tintín were kept illegally by the manager of a Spanish circus. Both Mojito and Tintín have been taken from their mother when they were too young and were fed poorly, supposedly to keep them cute and cuddly. Mojito has a problem with his oesophagus, which causes a massive gag-reflex and possible suffocation when he eats pieces of meat that are larger than a coin in diameter. Fortunately that does not hold the brave cub back. And Tintín, too, is developing very well. The two young lions make themselves at home in AAP Primadomus, and behaving like energetic teens, they like to spice things up a bit every now and then.
At AAP, we look at the different personalities of our animals, and observation showed that fellow cub Anthares might be a great addition to the group of young males Mojito and Tintín. The introduction has to happen gradually and both Mojito and Tintín will be introduced to Anthares separately. Mojito and Anthares are a good match, even though Anthares was initially a bit scared of his much bigger companion. Luckily, Mojito gave him all the space and confidence he needed to feel at ease. Right now it’s up to Tintín, who is recovering from a broken bone is his forepaw. How he broke this bone, we don’t know. It is a possibility he landed wrong after a big jump. Anthares and Tintín need a little longer to gain each other’s trust, but the sings are very promising. We look forward to their union with Mojito.
Leopard Mohani was brought to AAP Primadomus on the 15th of December 2015. Her previous owner used Mohani in his magic shows and before that, she was supposedly also used in a local circus. At AAP Primadomus, Mohani lives in a grand enclosure where she can enjoy the Spanish sun just the way she likes it: from her home-made pallet hammock. Her caretakers notice a massive positive change in her behaviour. She has become more agile and her reflexes have improved a lot. Basic instincts she had to suppress for a long time, she now learns to trust and follow.
Young lions Savannah and Anthares
Lion cubs Savannah and Anthares were both rescued from the same horrid French circus that exploited them for the entertainment of tourists. Female Savannah is about half a year older than male Anthares. Like all animals that are used to entertain people, Savannah and Anthares were taken from their mother when they were way too young. Luckily, both of them have found refuge at AAP Primadomus, where they will receive the proper care, space and nutrition they need to become majestic and powerful lions.
At the moment, Anthares is introduced to fellow lion cub Tintín. His introduction with Mojito went swell, even though Anthares was a bit intimidated by him at first. Fortunately, Mojito gave him the space and confidence he needed, and they quickly became very fond of each other. Tintín and Anthares need a little more time to get to know one another, but the first signs are promising. We look forward to the union with Mojito.
For the time being, Savannah can enjoy some ‘me-time’. However, now that more and more circuses dismiss the use of wild animals, she, too, will soon have a partner (or partners).
Lions Marley and Elsa
The two lion cubs Marley and Elsa have become victims of online wildlife trade. In Germany a man ordered the two lions online and not long after that, they were delivered to his house. Marley and Elsa were captured in one of the rooms of his house, but they managed to get away. Passers-bys saw the lion cubs on the street and immediately informed the authorities. They took action right away and Marley and Elsa were brought to AAP Primadomus, where they get professional care.
Puma Kato has been, like most of the big cats at Primadomus, a victim of the entertainment industry. He had to spend his days in a dark and polluted circustrailer, together with a group of baboons. They didn't use Kato (anymore) for shows, but he was used as decoration. Visitors took pictures of and with the puma.
The rescue of puma Kato was everything besides easy. The former owners didn't agree with the local authorities and they did everything to prevent the rescue. After several hours, the AAP-truck was finally able to drive to Almere, where the animals would get good care. The (medical) team and the enclosures were as ready as they can be.
At AAP we find it highly important to stimulate the animals with enrichment. Most of the times we hide some treats in a box. Like every cat owner probably knows, a box is a perfect gift for a cat. Watch the video of Kato with his box, here. Nowadays Kato lives in AAP Primadomus, where he has a big inside and outside enclosure, with loads of sun and the best professional care.
Tigers Drac and Bianca
Tigers Drac and Bianca are the most recent habitants of AAP Primadomus. Male Drac and his sister Bianca were rescued from a private owner who kept them in a cage which was partially inside and partially outside.
In medical perspective, Drac is in a less better state than Bianca. He suffers from a severe form of cataracts in one eye and the other is completely ruined, due to infection. Fortunately, that does not stand in the way of his confidence and as soon as their quarantine period is over, the vets will consider operate his eye for the better. Bianca, on the other hand, needs a little more time to grow confident with her new life and the caretakers of Primadomus. Both tigers will receive the time and care they need in order to recover from their previous life. With an age of nearly fourteen years, Drac and Bianca are two of the oldest big cats in Primadomus.