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FOUR PAWS rescues Bulgaria's last circus tiger!

Update 22 September 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. Just several minutes ago, we opened the doors and Varvara ran outside immediately and started to explore her new home closely. 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. Varvara, we are watching your first steps into this “freedom” with tears in our eyes and are filled with peace and happiness that, after months of negotiations, we could finally free you from your tiny prison!

Update 18 September 2015: Varvara is home now

We are here finally!  A long and exhausting ride via several European countries has come to an end in Germany. We have finally arrived in our big cat centre in Tierart. 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. Take your time, Varvara. You have suffered for so long. It’s worth the wait until you are ready. Stay tuned to follow her first steps into her big outdoor enclosure soon. We’ll keep you posted here and on social media. 


Find more pics on facebook and instagram! 

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

Update 17 September 2015: We have arrived in Germany 

Earlier than expected, we passed the German border and are now on our way to our big cat centre in Tierart, where Varvara will find a new home. Everything went very smoothly and Varvara is doing well in her crate. Soon she will be able to leave it and move into her new home. 


Follow Varvara's journey on our website, on facebook and on instagram! 

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

Update 17 September 2015: The journey to Germany begins 

Varvara was checked medically under  anaesthesia. She’s now slowly waking up in her crate. The transfer can start as soon as Varvara is awake again. Animals that have been 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 are transferring big cats, an experienced vet team is accompanying us. 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


Due to the current migrant crises, 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. 


Follow Varvara's journey on our website, on facebook and on instagram! 

Before Varvara's transfer started, she was checked medically. Everything went smoothly and she's already in her crate. The journey begins.
© VIER PFOTEN | 2015

FOUR PAWS rescues Varvara - the last Bulgarian circus tiger

This is Varvara, the last Bulgarian circus tiger. She 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 the new ban on keeping wild animals in circuses came into force in Bulgaria. Her 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. There Varvara could hardly move her body – until now. FOUR PAWS has managed to reach an agreement with the owner. We are allowed to free Varvara from her cage and take her with us;  her suffering is ending now. Your journey into a better life starts now, Varvara. You will soon start your new life in a species-appropriate home in our new big cat centre in Tierart. 


Follow Varvara's journey on our website, on facebook and on instagram! 

This is Varvara's current home. The former circus tiger is living in a tiny cage in Bulgaria.
© FOUR PAWS | 2015