Almere - 31 October 2019 - A Dutch rescue team of AAP – Animal Advocacy and Protection – is preparing the rescue of a number of tigers that got stuck on their way to Russia. Ten animals from a circus left Italy on October 22nd but were stopped at the Polish border with Belarus because of incorrect permits. Their transport, from a company specialized in horses, is also not suitable for the tigers who were put in small cages and crates. After the death of one of the animals the authorities decided to seize the tigers until further notice. The animals were taken to Zoo Poznań in Poland, a regular partner of AAP, on Wednesday evening for first aid and rest. Once the authorities give permission, AAP will launch an operation to take at least five tigers to their rescue facility Primadomus in Spain. The other animals will probably remain in Zoo Poznań and Wroclaw in Poland.

Animal Advocacy and Protection (AAP) has extensive experience with the care of tigers and hopes to be able to save these animals. Director David van Gennep: “The sad thing is that this kind of transport is not illegal or extraordinary: big cats and other wild animals are driven across Europe every day. Often as part of a traveling circus, sometimes to traders, private keepers or animal parks unable to care for them properly. It again indicates that a European ban on circuses is desperately needed to stop the dragging of animals, with all the terrible consequences that this entails."

According to a local veterinarian, the deceased tiger suffered from intestinal problems probably because it was incorrectly fed chicken that blocked the digestive tract. A rescue team from Zoo Poznań found the animals Wednesday in dire circumstances at the Polish border post. The regional authorities seized the animals so they could be transported to Zoo Poznań right away, hoping to keep the remaining animals alive. As soon as the tigers are fit to travel and the required documents are in order, AAP will initiate transport to Primadomus, the largest rescue facility for big cats in Europe. A specialized AAP veterinarian will assess the health of the animals on site as quickly as possible.

The costs for the rescue operation will be considerable. AAP asks the public to contribute in order to realize the first medical costs, transport and care in Primadomus Spain as quickly as possible.

Donations are very welcome, bank details can be found here.

The large majority of EU Member States has already banned or severely restricted the use of wild animals in circuses. The veterinary community has already urged the European and other competent authorities to simply prohibit the use of wild mammals in travelling circuses. We too are calling for the end of the practice.

It is time for the European Union to act. Only this can guarantee a solution to the physical and emotional suffering of wild animals in circuses and to the related public security risks.

Please join more than 870.000 Europeans in asking for a on the use of wild animals in circuses in the European Union.