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FOUR PAWS rescues last circus tiger in Bulgaria!


Update, 22-09-2015: Varvara explores her new outdoor enclosure

Faster than expected, Varvara – the last Bulgarian circus tiger – was ready to leave her indoor enclosure. Just two days after her arrival the abused tigress was curious enough to leave her smaller indoor enclosure. Our team opened the doors and Varvara ran outside immediately and started to explore her new home. After twelve years of living in a tiny cage, the former circus tiger finally has a natural environment in which to start living the life of a tiger.


We would be very grateful to receive donations to help us maintain our sancutuaries and give Varvara the life she deserves. To donate, please click here

After 12 years in a cage, Varvara has finally moved into a species-appropriate home.
© Hristo Vladev

Update, 2015-09-18: Varvara arrives in her new home

Varvara and the FOUR PAWS rescue team have arrived. A long and exhausting ride via several European countries has come to an end in big cat centre TIERART, in Germany. Varvara will now be released into her indoor enclosure, which is a smaller area where she can get used to her new environment. As soon as she is ready, we’ll open the door to her outdoor enclosure. Exactly when this moment happens always depends on the individual character of an animal. Some are curious enough to find out what’s behind that door after several hours, others need several weeks. We want Varvara to be as calm as possible before we release her into her big enclosure. As she has stayed in tiny cages for her whole life, this might be an overwhelming experience for her. She has suffered for many years but she now has the time to adapt to her new home at her own pace. 


Stay tuned to follow Varvara's first steps into her large outdoor enclosure soon. We’ll keep you posted here and on social media. 


Check out more pics on Facebook

Finally in Germany: Our journey together with Varvara, the last Bulgarian circus tiger is coming to an end soon.
© FOUR PAWS | 2015

Update, 2015-09-17: Varvara and the team arrive in Germany 

Earlier than expected, our team has crossed the German border and is now on its way to our big cat centre in TIERART, where Varvara's new home awaits.


Everything has gone smoothly so far and Varvara is doing well in her crate. Soon she will be able to move into her new home. We'll keep you updated about Varvara's journey! 

© FOUR PAWS | 2015

Update, 2015-09-17: The journey to Germany begins 

Varvara has received a veterinary check under  anaesthesia and is now slowly waking up in her crate. The transfer can start as soon as Varvara is fully awake again. Animals that were given anaesthesia need  to be fully awake before being transferred to ensure that they can balance themselves in the transport crates and breathe normally.


As always, when we transfer big cats, we are accompanied by an experienced team of vets. This time we have an international team with veterinarians from Bulgaria, Germany and Austria led by Johanna Payner from Leibnitz - Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research. We’ll keep you posted about her journey from Bulgaria to Germany. 


Due to the current migrant crisis, we were told at the Romanian-Hungarian border to change our travel route. We will now go via Slovakia and the Czech Republic and not via Hungary and Austria. We'll keep you informed during our journey! 


Follow Varvara's journey here and on our Facebook page.  

© FOUR PAWS | Hristo Vladev

This is Varvara, the last remaining circus tiger in Bulgaria. She has spent her whole life  either in a tiny cage or in the circus performing tricks to a noisy audience. In January 2015, her performances in the circus ended when a ban on keeping wild animals in circuses was introduced in Bulgaria.


Varvara's suffering wasn’t over though. Unfortunately, her owner wasn’t able to offer her a species-appropriate home. She was kept in a tiny cage on a circus wagon for the last couple of months. In this cage, Varvara could hardly move her body – until now.


FOUR PAWS has managed to reach an agreement with the tiger's owner allowing us to free her from her cage and take her with us to a better life, one without suffering. Varvara will soon start herr new life in a species-appropriate home in our new big cat centre TIERART, in Germany.


Check out our Facebook page and stay tuned for updates on Varvara's lifechanging journey from Bulgaria to Germany!