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A new home for the rescued Romanian tigers


Shiny coats and weight gain: FOUR PAWS reports a remarkable physical recovery

Tomi and Riwa, the two tigers rescued by the international animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS earlier this year, have been released into a new 1ha home specifically designed for their needs, at the organisation’s sanctuary for big cats, LIONSROCK.

The pair originates from the run down Onesti Zoo in Romania, where they were confined to a small cage with only concrete underfoot. On arrival at LIONSROCK in April they were skinny and unkempt. They were released into a tiger adaption area and visibly pleased to meet each other again after the long trip. Just three months after their adaption period, they have now been released into an area of over 1ha. “They have made a notable and remarkable physical recovery. Their coats shine and they have gained weight. In their new enclosure they will also be able to have more physical activity” says Hildegard Pirker, who heads up the animal welfare department at LIONSROCK.

© FOUR PAWS | Hildegard Pirker

Riwa was the first to carefully inspect her new surroundings, followed by Tomi. First they took short rounds, returning back to the safety of the adaption area, but eventually they went further away to investigate all the features in their enclosure. Big tree logs, a shelter with an outlook platform, a big pool and a cave create an ideal habitat for them. Riwa went into the thick bush where she seemed to enjoy all the moving branches around her.

Eventually they discovered the big pool and Tomi who is known for his affinity to this element went straight for a dip. After 2 hours of exploring they both found rest in the open grass, basking in the late afternoon sun.“Watching them enjoy their new surroundings makes the effort worthwhile. The team worked tirelessly to ensure that a beautiful habitat could be created for these two tigers” concludes Pirker.

Since 2007, FOUR PAWS has already brought 90 distressed lions and tigers to LIONSROCK, mostly from Europe, but also from South Africa, the Congo and Asia (Jordan). The big cats live in harmony and their species appropriate needs are cared for by FOUR PAWS experts.