Our Sanctuaries provide lifelong secure homes for hundreds of animals across the globe who have escaped a life of suffering under human influence.
We have a number of veteran residents across our sanctuaries, and in this blog, we wanted to highlight some of the animals who have been with us longer, and how they’ve settled in.
Bear Mascha - BEAR SANCTUARY Müritz
In 2006, Mascha and Otto were initially rescued together from private ownership. After many happy and peaceful years together, sadly Masha's long-time partner Otto passed away in August 2022. Until then, they shared one big enclosure with lakes, forest, grassland and many other enrichments ready to discover.
After her loss, our caretakers observed changes in her behaviour. Masha was deeply affected by the sudden loss and displayed stressed and lethargic behavior, but over time, she has slowly found her way back to her mellow, relaxed self, which deeply touched the whole team and showed just how she took some time to grieve before moving on and continuing to roam her forest.
Tigress Cara – TIERART Wild Animal Sanctuary
At only five months old, little Cara was discovered in 2013 during a raid near Naples in Italy. She was illegally kept, and locked up in a tiny concrete shed of only 6 metres squared with no windows.
The Italian police immediately confiscated Cara and from here FOUR PAWS transported her to Germany where she was initially housed temporarily at a German animal shelter before finally moving into the newly opened big cat enclosure in TIERART Wild Animal Sanctuary in 2015.
Cara quickly became one of the visitors' favourites due to her curious and people-oriented nature. She can often be found greeting people with a friendly snort typical for tigers.
In 2019 Cara became known throughout Germany as the only tigress with a gold tooth, after some dental issues meant she needed a new crown!
Lion Pregan – LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary
Pregan was born in a zoo in Germany in 2007 and came to our FELIDA Big Cat Sanctuary in the Netherlands in 2012 before moving to LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa.
Pregan is instantly recognisable amongst his counterparts at the sanctuary as he is known as the man with no mane! This was because he had been neutered in the past, which caused him to lose his usual male identifying feature. Male lions have manes to appear larger so they can deter intruders, and it also protects them from claws and jaws during fights. Luckily Pregan did not have to fight to survive as he was one of the first six animals that made the journey from FELIDA to LIONSROCK in 2014. Here, he and his sister Simba quickly adjusted to their new life in a species-appropriate home under the African sun.
Unfortunately, Simba passed away in 2017 due to kidney failure and since her passing, Pregan lives alone. He still interacts with his neighbouring lions as and when he wants to though!
Bear Kassandra – BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina
21 year old Kassandra was rescued in March 2013 and was the first bear rescued by FOUR PAWS in Kosovo. Although the sanctuary wasn’t quite yet ready, we rescued her as soon as was possible from her cruel captivity in a tiny cage close to a restaurant.
Kassandra’s dramatic transformation both physically and mentally makes her one of Prishtina’s most wonderful success stories and can clearly be seen from the bad condition of her formerly grey-brown fur which has since transformed into the shining blonde coat she now sports!
After many terrible years alone in captivity, Kassandra and her neighbour Vini came together to form a partnership and they’ll see out the rest of their days together in peaceful, loyal company. Watching formerly captive bears that have been rescued from poor conditions enjoy their lives in a natural environment is already very special, but seeing two lonely bears become partners for life is a truly heart-warming experience.
We’re so proud of the journeys all of the animals living in our sanctuaries have been on to settle into their new lives, and it is wonderful to be able to share the long and comfortable lives that this particular selection of veterans have enjoyed since joining us.
This hard work couldn’t be managed without the incredible help of our wonderful Patrons, whose generous donations give rescued animals the safe haven they need to live out the rest of their lives in dignity.
To find out more about all of our Sanctuaries across the world, take a look here.