Rescued Circus Tiger Sees Grass For The First Time – Look At His Reaction!

Most animals who work in circus shows have spent most of their lives in captivity. This was the case of Hoover, a tiger who worked in a circus in Peru. But Animal Defenders International (ADI) stepped in to save the poor tiger from his life of slavery. But rescuing Hoover proved to be way more difficult than what they had planned…

Photo: Courtesy of animals.barcroft.tv

#20. Hoover, The Tiger

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Like hundreds of thousands of animals throughout the world, Hoover is a tiger who was born under captivity. He worked in the entertainment business for over 12 years, as he was part of a traveling circus act in Peru.

#19. New Legislation

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Hoover had spent all of his life performing tricks for the circus, so he didn’t know what freedom was. But in 2011, the Peruvian government banned the use of wild animals in circuses and entertainment shows. Would Hoover finally be free? You won’t believe what happened next.

#18. Down By Law

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After the new legislation was passed in the Congress, Hoover’s owners should have turned their tigers over to the authorities or the rescuers. But instead, they defied the law and went into hiding, and took Hoover with them.

#17. Animal Defenders International

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Luckily for Hoover, Animal Defenders International, a group that rescued more than 100 wild animals worldwide, decided to track down Hoover’s owners. This organization had spent the last two years fighting to shut down the animal circuses throughout Latin America, so they weren’t going to let these people get away with it.

#16. Tough Rescue Mission

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Jan Creamer and Tim Philips, co-founders of Animal Defenders International, were in charge of the rescue mission. “Resistance of the circus owners, together with the many places to hide in mountains and forests, has made it tough,” said Philips. But even though the rescue mission didn’t prove to be easy, they finally managed to track down the circus owners. Can you guess where they were hiding?

#15. Sole Survivor

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Hoover’s captors had been hiding in a rural village close to the border with Ecuador. After they were captured, Peruvian authorities raided the circuses that these men owned. Even though they had 12 tigers working for them, they only found one of them alive. And believe it or not, the only surviving tiger was Hoover!

#14. Not The Only Victim

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Shortly after, the local police raided another circus, known as Circo Koreander, where they found a mountain lion called Mufasa. The poor animal had been chained to a truck for 20 years! Hoover and Mufasa were taken to a temporary facility. But before finding them a permanent home, there was something that had to be done more urgently.

#13. Terrible Health Condition

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Before finding him a home, Hoover needed proper medical care. Hoover was emaciated when he was first found in the cage at the circus, and he had several wounds throughout his body. Therefore, he stayed for a couple of months at the ADI holding facility, where he was treated by veterinarians.

#12. Full Recovery

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After a long and steady process of rehabilitation and after several months of treatment and exercise, Hoover gained 50 pounds and recovered from his wounds. But now, the volunteers at ADI were left with the difficult task of finding a permanent home for them.

#11. Off To Florida!

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The workers at ADI contacted different natural reserves, among them the Big Cat Rescue from Tampa, Florida. Luckily, the owners of the Rescue Center agreed to take Hoover in. Of course, it wasn’t that easy, given the huge amount of bureaucratic procedures and papers that are required by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in order to transport an animal by plane.

#10. Home Sweet Home

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By the time the USFWS allowed to have the tiger flown to Florida, the staff at the Big Cat Rescue had already worked to arrange a one-acre enclosure just for Hoover. The tiger would spend his twelfth birthday in his new home, and his present was amazing!

#9. A New Life

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In April 2016, Hoover finally arrived at his huge new home! Carole Baskin, the CEO of Big Rescue Center, 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!

#8. What Is This Thing?

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The workers at the Rescue Center were surprised to see Hover’s reaction when he saw a lake for the first time in his life.

We don’t believe he had never 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.

#7. Approaching The Water

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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. If you found this picture adorable, wait until you see the next one!

#6. Like A Duck!

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Look at him enjoying the water! Isn’t it heartbreaking! According to one of the volunteers at the Rescue Center:

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“.

#5. Raising Awareness

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Big Cat Rescue hopes that Hoover’s story will raise awareness on the deplorable conditions that animals face in the entertainment business. Sadly, most of the animals who work on circus shows are tortured, not to mention the fact that they’re kept under captivity.

#4. Don’t Cage Felines!

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The workers at Big Cat Rescue are also strongly opposed to using animals for profit in the entertainment business.

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 organization’s CEO.

#3. Part Of The Family

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All in all, the staff at the Rescue Center are glad that Hoover is now part of their lives. “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. Living The Life

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Carole also said that Hoover spends his days “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“.

#1. Birthday Boy

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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 was also gifted with an all-meat birthday cake, all for himself! Beat that!

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    Jessica Aguero

    Jessica Aguero is a content marketing professional at Bukisa.com, a lifestyle and pop culture community that helps people stay in touch with trends. Previously, Jessica wrote content for several magazines and websites. She graduated with honors from Columbia University with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.

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