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FOUR PAWS is rescuing Bulgaria's last circus tiger!


Update: 22 September 2015: Varvara explores her new outdoor enclosure

Sooner than expected, Varvara – Bulgaria's last circus tiger who was rescued by FOUR PAWS last week – was ready to leave her new indoor enclosure. The abused tigress was so curious about her new territory that she ran out as soon as we opened the door and started to explore her new home. After twelve years of living in a tiny cage, Varvara finally has a natural environment in which to start living the life of a tiger. Varvara, we are watching your first steps in this new life with joy and a feeling of intense satisfaction that we were able to free you from your tiny prison after months of negotiations!

Update: 18 September 2015: Varvara is home

We are here finally! A long and exhausting drive via several European countries has come to an end in Germany. We have arrived in our big cat centre in TIERART. Varvara will now be released into her indoor enclosure, which is a smaller area where she can get used to her new environment. As soon as she is ready, we’ll open the door to her outdoor enclosure. When this will happen always depends on the individual character of an animal. Some are curious enough to find out what’s behind that door after several hours, others need several weeks. We want Varvara to be as calm as possible before we release her into her big enclosure. As she has stayed in tiny cages for her whole life, this might be an overwhelming experience for her. Take your time, Varvara. You have suffered for so long. It’s worth the wait until you are ready. Stay tuned to follow her first steps into her big outdoor enclosure soon. We’ll keep you posted here and on social media. 


Find more pics on facebook and instagram! 

After 12 years in a cage, Varvara has finally moved into a species-appropriate home.
© Hristo Vladev

Update: 17 September 2015: We have arrived in Germany 

Earlier than expected, we passed the German border and are now on our way to our big cat centre in TIERART, where Varvara will find a new home. Everything went very smoothly and Varvara is doing well in her crate. Soon she will be able to leave it and move into her new home. 


Follow Varvara's journey on our website, on facebook and on instagram! 

Finally in Germany: Our journey together with Varvara, the last Bulgarian circus tiger is coming to an end soon.
© FOUR PAWS | 2015

Update 17 September 2015: The journey to Germany begins 

Varvara has been checked by a veterinarian when she was under anaesthesia to move her into her transport crate. She’s now slowly waking up in the crate. The transfer can start as soon as Varvara is awake. Animals who have been anesthesised first need to wake up fully before being transported. This is to ensure that they can balance themselves in the transport crates and breathe normally. As always when we transfer big cats, an experienced vet team is accompanying us. This time we have an international team with veterinarians from Bulgaria, Germany and Austria led by Johanna Payner from Leibnitz - Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research


Due to the current migrant crises, at the Romanian-Hungarian border we were told that we have to change our travel route. We will now go via Slovakia and the Czech Republic and not via Hungary and Austria.


Follow Varvara's journey on our website, on facebook and on instagram! 

Before Varvara's transfer started, she was checked medically. Everything went smoothly and she's already in her crate. The journey begins.
© VIER PFOTEN | 2015

FOUR PAWS rescues Varvara - Bulgaria's last circus tiger

This is Varvara, the last Bulgarian circus tiger. She has spent her whole life either in a tiny cage or in the circus performing tricks to a noisy audience. In January 2015, her performances in the circus ended when the country's ban on keeping wild animals in circuses came into force. Unfortunately, her suffering wasn’t over: her owner wasn’t able to offer her a species-appropriate home but kept Varvara in a tiny cage on a circus wagon where she could hardly move her body. But all of this will soon be over. FOUR PAWS has managed to reach an agreement with the owner and we are allowed to free Varvara from her cage and take her with us. Varvara will soon start her new life in a species-appropriate home in our new big cat centre in TIERART. 


Follow Varvara's journey on our website, on facebook and on instagram! 

This is Varvara's current home. The former circus tiger is living in a tiny cage in Bulgaria.
© FOUR PAWS | 2015