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Hearts for Tigers Appeal


8 June 2018

Isle of Wight Zoo to rehome rescued circus tigers

Five tigers who have spent years being forced to perform in a Spanish travelling circus will soon be making their way to the Isle of Wight Zoo to find sanctuary and expert care.

The three female and two male tigers – Natasha, Zoppa, Antonella, Girona and Mondo – were given up by the circus amid the growing public backlash around performing animals. They were taken in by Spain’s AAP Foundation which quarantines and rehabilitates circus animals but as space and resources are required for ongoing rescue efforts, the Isle of Wight Zoo has stepped in to provide their forever home.

As part of The Wildheart Trust, the zoo provides the accommodation and care element of the charity’s work with big cats and exotic animals – supporting rescue projects and raising awareness of the plight of animals who become victims of the circus and pet trade.

Trust founder Charlotte Corney said: "We’re so pleased to be providing this vital lifeline to these tigers. The conditions endured by circus animals can be horrific. Things you can’t believe are still happening in this so-called enlightened age and while we continue to campaign and pursue an end to such cruelty, we know the animals we rescue will have a happy retirement."

Charlotte and her partner, wildlife TV presenter Chris Packham, recently visited the tigers in Spain to make plans for their journey to the zoo later this month.

Meanwhile, the team on the island are busy constructing new facilities to enable the zoo to accommodate the new tigers as well as mounting a major fundraising campaign to support this and future rescue work.  Anyone concerned about the plight of circus animals and wishing to help can donate at:

Established for over 40 years, the Isle of Wight Zoo aims to promote the survival of endangered species through first class educational and recreational experiences, exemplary animal management, conservation and research. The Zoo is best known for its work with exotic cats. As a centre for surplus or rescued big cats, all have come to the Zoo at different stages of their lives and from a variety of backgrounds.

Meet the Tigers! 

Mondo - Male, 13 Years old.

Girona - Male, 15 Years old

Natasha - Female, 4 Years old

Zoppa - Female, 6 Years old

Antonella - Female, 13 Years old