If you are a supporter of FOUR PAWS UK on social media, you may have seen that we have recently been sharing a noticeable number of posts announcing the passing of animals from our sanctuaries. So, to dispel any worries or concerns we wanted to take this moment to clarify why the animals at our sanctuaries can sometimes end up saying goodbye before their time.
No matter where we rescue the animal from, one thing is always common. These animals have not had an easy life. For many of them, home consisted of a tiny, dirty cage and their lives featured daily struggles due to poor nutrition and a lack of medical care. Further to this trauma, many of the animals that we rescue have faced years of poor keeping or being made to perform, all of which when combined immediately places them on the backfoot when it comes to their health.
Although these conditions may rally the call for their rescue, they leave deep and lasting marks on both their psyche and their physical health. This is why we do our best to mitigate the effects of their past, but, unfortunately for some, the damage has already been done. The lives that they live at our sanctuaries revolve around the knowledge and professional care of our teams of experts as we strive to make up for lost time and to give them the species-appropriate care that they deserve. A life free from suffering and neglect.
It is always heart-breaking to say goodbye to one of the animals, they have personalities, they create routines, they become part of the sanctuary that they are in. Just like losing a loved one in any walk of life, their deaths leave a void.
Thank you for not only making their rescue possible, but also for showing compassion, understanding, and support during these hard times.
Just as his nephews Masoud and Terez, also lion Ivan-Asen was born in the illegal breeding station of Razgrad Zoo in Bulgaria. For the first four years of his life he was severely neglected and when we rescued him in 2018 from the dark cage full of feces, he was more dead than alive; emaciated, dehydrated and very anxious. Despite his inbreeding background and his serious physical traumas such as neurological problems, he flourished in FELIDA Big Cat Sanctuary where he clearly felt at home and finally lived in peace and dignity. He became the king he truly was.His sudden and unexpected death as a result of an acute stomach bleeding left us all devastated and heartbroken.
Terez was, together with his brother Masoud, born in September 2017 in Razgrad Zoo in Bulgaria, which functioned as an illegal breeding station for lions. The brothers were the result of multiple generations of inbreeding. Shortly after the passing of Masoud, it was confirmed that Terez, who already had the same neurological problems in a less advanced stage, was suffering from deteriorating kidney function. When his kidney failure caught up with him, every possible measure was taken but we saw Terez weaken. He seemed to simply lack the energy to keep fighting his failing body and after thorough consultation, it became clear that there was no way Terez would recover. To prevent him from further suffering we had to let him peacefully go.
Lenci was rescued from a private illegal zoo in Albania and lived at FELIDA Big Cat Sanctuary since May 2019. The many years of suffering on a concrete floor in a small cage, in damp and unsanitary conditions, had left deep marks. His health remained fragile and when he became sick, it turned out he suffered from a chronic, very painful inflammation in his nose area that could not be resolved and would only spread further, causing more pain. He weakened under his tough, majestic appearance and the will to fight was gone. To prevent further suffering, we had to make the difficult decision to let him go.
Juno was born in 2000 in a zoo in Great Britain. In 2002 she and her partner Cromwell were brought to Nijeberkoop, where they had two litters. Four of the tigers from these litters were still in Nijeberkoop when FOUR PAWS took over the centre. In 2015, Juno, Cromwell and their four descendants were transfered to LIONSROCK, where they were given more space. The tigers adapted well to their new environment. In 2021 we had to say goodbye to Juno, who was then the oldest tiger at LIONSROCK, due to age related illments.