Natasha was one of seven tigers crammed into a tightly-packed cage as part of a traveling circus in Spain. The animals, used for entertainment, are often abused and abandoned.
Fortunately, Animal Advocacy and Protection rescued all eight tigers and they are now enjoying a new kind of life.
Chris Packham and his partner Charlotte Corney plan to bring them to their Isle of Wight Zoo.
I recently travelled to Spain to rescue five ex-circus tigers who lived in miserable conditions . They hadn't entir… https://t.co/IBDOAeEu8y— Chris Packham (@Chris Packham)1528464792.0
Packham and Corney first met four-year-old Natasha at a rehabilitation center in Alicante after her rescue from the horrible conditions of the traveling circus. They were instantly smitten with her playfulness and charm.
This is Natasha, one of the five abused ex-circus tigers from Spain we are giving a home to. We're very grateful we… https://t.co/FelcUNXSNl— Isle of Wight Zoo (@Isle of Wight Zoo)1528566450.0
"Having been kept in captivity for most of their lives, even though some tigers are mistreated, they aren't frightened of people," Packham told Mirror. "Being around people is all they ever knew. That is why some of them are so tame."
UK zoo provides 'forever home' to tigers after travelling circus ordeal https://t.co/3whTCYeq6Q https://t.co/AARP5jfmik— ITV News (@ITV News)1528632862.0
While the center is a welcome respite from the cramped cages and the mistreatment of circus handlers, space is very limited, with more than 1,000 other animals suffering elsewhere around the continent.
Fantastic rescue and welfare work from @IsleofWight_Zoo #zoo #tigers #banthecircus Rescuers find appalling animal c… https://t.co/VWmQCIafuj— Zoo Lawyer (@Zoo Lawyer)1528353047.0
Packham hopes to give Natasha a new home, joined by female tigers Zoppa, 6, Antonella, 13, and males Mondo, 14, and Girona, 16.
Thankfully, the tigers have been rescued and brought to this absolutely fantastic rehabilitation centre, AAP Primadomus in Spain. Our objective at the Wildheart Trust, at the Isle of Wight Zoo, is to take these tigers to the UK to give them a good quality of life and good veterinary care.
It's so heartwarming to see people like @ChrisGPackham and the staff at @IsleofWight_Zoo do this for creatures that… https://t.co/UWEwegVRl4— Hollie Adams (@Hollie Adams)1528572737.0
Great news for these stunning animals- 'Forever home' for rescued circus #tigers @IsleofWight_zoo… https://t.co/9ggBlkPAXQ— ITV News Meridian (@ITV News Meridian)1528627382.0
Because the tame tigers were born in captivity and are not intimidated by people, Packham said that releasing them into the wild is not the proper solution.
I would much rather that these tigers were in the wild. But the thing is, they can't be. They're not frightened of people, they don't know how to hunt and they are not fit enough to survive. What we have to do now is give them as good a quality of life in captivity as we can.
@itvnews Thank you UK zoo!!!! Beautiful creatures deserve a great life.— James Hayes (@James Hayes)1528648523.0
@Foxtrevert @ChrisGPackham @IsleofWight_Zoo Hats off to them! THANK YOU! ❤️— Debbie the Texan (@Debbie the Texan)1528640138.0
@IsleofWight_Zoo @ChrisGPackham Absolutely beautiful. Here’s to a long and happy life 🤞— Alma Leaper (@Alma Leaper)1528581692.0