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Big Cats

© FOUR PAWS | Karina Knapek

Concrete, iron bars and performing tricks, that is the life of hundreds of lions and tigers imprisoned in zoos, circuses or backyards. FOUR PAWS is on a mission to end this cruelty.


Our first successful action took place in 2002, when four lion cubs used for taking photos with tourists were sent from Romania to a sanctuary in South Africa. Ever since, FOUR PAWS has increased its efforts to end the keeping of lions and tigers in captivity. We have undertaken many rescues and transfers and now operate Big Cat Rescue Station Felida in The Netherlands and a massive Big Cat Sanctuary called LIONSROCK in South Africa. Lionsrock is home to more than 100 rescued big cats.

Canned Hunting

It is not only zoos and circuses where big cats suffer. South Africa has build a reputation for wildlife tourism, but sadly these tourists don't only take pictures. Hunters from all over the world pay tens of thousands of dollars to shoot a lion and take their 'trophy' home. Most of these lions are not wild, but purposely bred for the bullet at lion breeding farms. Having been handled by humans from when they were little cubs, they have no idea what is coming at them and are shot at point blank. FOUR PAWS is doing everything it can to stop this barbaric industry. You can help by signing our petition to the South African government.

Finally a species-appropriate home in FOUR PAWS' big cat sanctuary LIONSROCK.
© FOUR PAWS | Mihai Vasile