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Tigers at the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary

We have four tigers here at the Sanctuary, Natasha and Zoppa and Softi and Toph.

Softi and Toph, two female tigers who arrived here in April 2023, have had incredibly tragic lives thus far. Bred in captivity in Italy, and then in October 2019 they were found in small crates in the back of a horse box starving, dehydrated, and covered in excrement bound for Russia to fates unknown. They were confiscated at the Belarussian border and were cared initially at a Sanctuary in Spain, run by our partners, Animal Advocacy and Protection (AAP).

We also have two female tigers who came to The Wildheart Animal Sanctuary in 2018 having been rescued from a travelling circus in Spain by our rescue partner AAP. They were forced to live in cramped and barbaric conditions and were given up by the circus before coming to live with us in their forever home at our Sanctuary.

We focus on excellent animal welfare; offering a safe forever home to abused individuals; conservation by protecting areas of natural tiger habitat in the wild, and education by inspiring you, our wonderful visitors, to care about efforts to protect them.

Meet Zoppa, Natasha, Softi and Toph below…

Softi

Softi, one of our rescued tigers, roaring at the camera. Standing in heather, this tiger is available for adoption.

Conservation Status: Endangered

Softi is quite shy, and whilst she loves to be outside, she can almost always be found hiding between the trees and bushes. She is very curious, although still cautious, taking time to get used to new people around, and always keeping her distance. She clearly still suffers from the trauma of her past life, and still gets easily stressed by noises or something simple like a rain shower. We are hoping that the love and care she will get at the Sanctuary will help to bring her out of her shell.

Toph

Conservation Status: Endangered

Whilst Toph seems to be incredibly smart and likes to anticipate what she thinks the carers were going to do, especially where food is involved. She has recently started to ‘chuff’ with other people, other than her caretakers. Chuffing is a form of tiger greeting, which sounds a bit like a puffy exhale, almost a whisper usually between the tigers, and in some cases, they will chuff with people who they have come to know. She initially preferred the sanctuary of the indoors, but has now gained her confidence and enjoys the water and the outdoors.

Natasha

Conservation Status: Endangered

Although Natasha is a very independent tiger, she does have her sociable moments where she loves playing with (and teasing!) her companion Zoppa. Whilst Natasha thinks with her stomach, she also enjoys the enrichment her caregivers provide, especially when it involves large boomer balls and swimming. Natasha is probably the most adventurous cat in the Sanctuary and shows her agility to climb the feed pole to find her food! From the moment Natasha arrived in 2018, she has shown us true resilience and friendship.

Zoppa

Conservation Status: Endangered

Zoppa is lame on her left front leg – indeed, the word ‘Zoppa’ translates as ‘lame’ or ‘limping’ in Italian. So many of our visitors show care and concern by alerting us to this issue, but rest assured she is in very good hands! Zoppa’s injury is a permanent disability which she has adapted to, and we are satisfied that she is not suffering. Visitors will see that Zoppa is incredibly active and mobile – in fact, she can often be seen playing with her companion Natasha on their wobble bridge!