REGIONAL: Tigers from Spanish circus settle into new homes at Isle of Wight Zoo

Antonella, a 13-year-old female. Picture: Isle of Wight Zoo
Antonella, a 13-year-old female. Picture: Isle of Wight Zoo
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FIVE tigers who have spent years performing in a Spanish travelling circus are settling into their new homes at Isle of Wight Zoo.

The three female and two male tigers – Natasha, Zoppa, Antonella, Girona and Mondo – were given up by the circus amid the growing public backlash around performing animals.

Girona, a 15-year-old male. Picture: Isle of Wight Zoo

Girona, a 15-year-old male. Picture: Isle of Wight Zoo

They were taken in by Spain’s AAP Foundation, which quarantines and rehabilitates circus animals, before being given a new home at the island’s zoo.

As part of The Wildheart Trust, the zoo provides the accommodation and care element of the charity’s work with big cats and exotic animals – supporting rescue projects and raising awareness of the plight of animals who become victims of the circus and pet trade.

Trust founder Charlotte Corney said: ‘We’re so pleased to be providing this vital lifeline to these tigers. The conditions endured by circus animals can be horrific.

‘Things you can’t believe are still happening in this so-called enlightened age and while we continue to campaign and pursue an end to such cruelty, we know the animals we rescue will have a happy retirement.’

Charlotte and her partner, wildlife TV presenter Chris Packham, visited the tigers in Spain earlier this year to make plans for their journey to the zoo.

The tigers have settled into their new surroundings.