Tigers rescued in Poland safely arrive in new home in Spain
Five tigers which spent days trapped in a lorry on the Polish-Belarussian border in October arrived at a Spanish branch of the Animal Advocacy and Protection organization (AAP) on Monday (December 2).
The tigers had been cared for in Poznan zoo in western Poland since they were discovered a few weeks ago stuck at the border with Belarus.
The lorry had set off from Rome carrying 10 tigers but was stopped after driving almost 2,000 kilometers at a Polish/Belarus border crossing on October 27, as the animals lacked the necessary veterinary permits and the driver did not have the correct paperwork to continue into Belarus, TVN24 reported.
"These animals went through hell," said AAP Managing Director, David van Gennep, who supervised the transport from Poznań to Primadomus in Villena, Spain.
The tigers, named Merida, Aqua, Toph, Softi and Sanson, have now found a new home in a specialised animal rescue facility.
"We have to make sure that they fully recover, and in order to do that, we also need some help" said Van Gennep.
On their website, AAP is reaching out to the public for donations to help support the recovery effort and care of the animals.
The organization says it also initiated a procedure to become the owner of the tigers to ensure that they will not end up in a circus or a poorly-maintained zoo.
One of the ten tigers originally transported died in the lorry on the Belarussian border, while the four remaining tigers will remain in Polish zoos, AAP said in a statement.
Poznań zoo will keep a pair of tigers called Gogh and Kan which, according to AAP. Gogh is unable to travel after suffering serious health problems form poor diet during the transport.
Originally bound for Dagestan in southern Russia, van Gennep says the tigers probably would have died if they had reached their destination.
"Probably they would have been used for traditional medicines," he said.