Animals in captivity, like the ones at the circus, have never seen a lake in their lives. This is the sad story of Hoover, a tiger that lived for the circus his entire life. But Animal Defenders International (ADI) stepped in to save the poor tiger from a Peruvian circus. When going to rescue the animals, the ADI discovered that the circus went underground.
But Hoover’s journey to a new and a better house began…
20. Airlifted to Florida
Hoover was finally getting to a new home in Tampa, where he would discover that life is actually beautiful, and not full of suffering. He lived with the circus for over 12 years…
19. With the Traveling Circus
The tiger spent almost 12 years performing tricks with the circus, so you can imagine how he reacted when he was first near a lake. Everyone was in tears when they saw him taking his first bath!
18. A Long Journey
Unfortunately for Hoover, that amazing bath would have to be on hold until he was ready to get rescued. Jan Creamer and Tim Philips, co-founders of Animal Defenders International, based in U.K. made it all possible. Here’s how everything happened.
17. The Main Goal
The organization was fighting against animal abuse and concentrated on saving them from such places. They fought for two years to shut down the circuses in Latin America and finally succeeded. But the circuses put up a fight!
16. Resistance Was Tough
‘Resistance of the circus owners, together with the many places to hide in mountains and forests, has made it tough,’ said Philips. They finally found the place the circus hid in a village, close to the border with Ecuador. They were shocked!
15. There Were More than 12 Tigers
After Peruvian authorities and ADI raided the circuses, they discovered only one tiger who survived in the Circo Africano. The tiger’s name was changed from Juver to Hoover and so his life started changing for the better.
14. Then the Circo Koreander Was Raided
It took eight hours to rescue a mountain lion called Mufasa from the Circo Koreander. The poor animal has been chained in a truck for 20 years! Hoover and Mufasa were taken to a temporary facility and then they were airlifted. You won’t believe what happened to the animals next…
13. Big Cat Rescue, Florida
As soon as ADI contacted the Big Cat Rescue from Tampa, Florida, they agreed to take Hoover in. But it wasn’t that easy, with the huge amount of administrative papers to get the green light from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)…
12. Finally, Home!
Until the USFWS agreed to the have the tiger flown to Florida, the staff at the BCR already worked to arrange a one-acre enclosure just for Hoover. This would be his twelfth birthday, and his present was amazing!
11. April 2016, A New Life
In April 2016, Hoover was finally going to his new huge home! Carole Baskin, the CEO of BCR said that Hoover ‘lived the first ten years of his life in a tiny circus wagon and then one year at ADI’s temporary holding pen.’ But Hoover’s adventure was just getting started!
10. What Is This Thing?
‘We don’t believe he had ever seen a pond or lake or been in any body of water. His huge one-acre enclosure at Big Cat Rescue has access to our lake,’ said Baskin. You won’t believe how the tiger reacted to touching the water!
9. Slowly Getting Into the Lake
‘The first day he arrived, Hoover didn’t quite know what to make of the lake. He put his paw in the water and shook it and slowly got into the lake’, continued Baskin. And now, he adores the lake. The next photo is adorable!
8. Hoover is Like a Duck!
‘Now he loves his lake. He swims just about every day – and even at night in the rain. He is a happy, laid back tiger and chuffs happily to his keepers.’ Chuffing is used to say hello, to comfort cubs or to court another feline.
7. Veterinary Care
Before Hoover got to his new home, he had to stay in the ADI holding facility, where he was treated by veterinarians. He got rehabilitated and even gained 50 pounds. When ADI found him at the circus…
6. A Terrible Health Condition
The poor tiger was emaciated when he was first found in the cage with the circus. But after months of treatment and exercise, Hoover would start patrolling his new huge home and checking out the neighbor tigers.
5. The Goal of Big Cat Rescue
Big Cat Rescue hopes that Hoover’s story will make other people aware of the fact that animal circuses are immoral, and most of them are not considering the animals’ rights. This is what Carole Baskin said about it…
4. Don’t Cage Big Cats!
‘We hope that Hoover’s story will further educate the public as to why big cats do not belong in circuses. Living in a cramped cage and being forced to perform against their will is no life for these magnificent animals,’ said the BCR’s CEO.
3. ‘Our Sanctuary in Tampa’
‘We are so happy to welcome Hoover and provide him with a safe, peaceful home at our sanctuary in Tampa,’ said Carole. She let everyone know that Hoover enjoys his days in the warm breezes of Florida.
2. Hoover is Living the Life
Carole also said that Hoover will now be ‘relaxing in the shady grass, lounging on his platforms and cooling off in our lake. He will literally be a world away from the abuse he suffered most of his life.’
The PR director of the organization, Susan Bass, said that ‘the cats are quite spoiled here’. When Hoover arrived at the sanctuary, he was not only going to get his own huge enclosure, but he had an all-meat birthday cake, all for himself!