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Lioness Bagira and Tiger Martin have safely arrived from Bulgaria to LIONSROCK

After the arrival of Bahar, the tiger cub from Jordan, last Saturday, FOUR PAWS big cat sanctuary LIONSROCK welcomed yet two new animals on Tuesday: Bagira, a 14-year old lioness, and Martin, an 8-year old tiger. They both lived in Bulgarian zoos before.

Bagira was rescued from despicable conditions when the staff of FOUR PAWS found her in the zoo of the town of Pavlikeni. The lack of proper care and nutrition had marked the body of the animal and it had deep wounds in the pelvic area. She had severe back problems too. Helmut Dungler, president of FOUR PAWS, explains: “We brought her to Sofia Zoo two months ago to take care of her health problems. We are happy that she was able to be transported to LIONSROCK now – here she will have peace and tranquility in her twilight years. Bagira’s story highlights the plight of so many big cats suffering similar conditions around the world.” After her arrival at LIONSROCK, Bagira’s still weakened condition forced the vets to isolate her in a specially designed care facility. There she will undergo further medical treatment. “At the moment her condition is still not good, but we all are looking forward for her to be introduced to an established family pride at LIONSROCK”, says Helmut Dungler.

On the long travel from Bulgaria, Bagira was accompanied by Martin, a massive tiger. The animal had been confiscated by the authorities, as its previous owner had kept it illegally. Martin spent the last few months in the Blagoevgrad Zoo, where the Ministry of Environment and Water had sheltered him temporally. “When the authorities found out about FOUR PAWS taking care of Bagira, they approached us and asked for Martin to accompany her on her journey to South Africa”, recalls Helmut Dungler. After so many stations Martin now enters his most important life phase: In LIONSROCK he can live freely in a large enclosure, without influence by man for the rest of his life.


“We are confident that these animals will recover from their physical and emotional injuries faster at LIONSROCK with its animal-friendly conditions than in a zoo”, says Helmut Dungler: “The ultimate goal of this rescue was not only to provide Bagira and Martin a new life but to highlight the plight of these big cats held in captivity in such terrible conditions.”


Bagira and Martin were not the first big cats from Bulgaria, sheltered at LIONSROCK. Lionesses Simona and Lea found their new home there in October 2010 after the authorities had confiscated them from different business people that had grown them illegally.


FOUR PAWS would like to express its deepest gratitude to the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and the Sofia Zoo. The support of these institutions turned out to be essential for the rescue operations of Martin, Bagira, Lea and Simona.

Багира и Мартин не са първите големи котки от България, които са приютени в Лайънсрок. През м. октомври 2010 г. Там бяха настанени лъвиците Симона и Леа, които в България са били отглеждани незаконно от частни бизнесмени, преди да бъдат конфискувани от властите.

От ЧЕТИРИ ЛАПИ изказват огромна благодарност на Министерство на околната среда и водите и на Софийски зоопарк, без чиято помощ не биха могли да бъдат осъществени акциите за спасяването на Багира, Мартин, Леа и Симона.