Hoover the Tiger has been kept in a tiny cage for 10 years after being forced to perform for the public as part of a travelling circus in Peru.
But now finally after so many awful years in captivity, he has been given a new home at Florida’s Big Cat Rescue centre.
In 2011, an investigation exposed the horrific animal abuse that was taking place in circuses across Latin America, and as a result it became illegal to use animals in circus acts throughout Peru.
Sadly, even after the law was passed, Animal Defenders International were unable to rescue poor Hoover for several more years. They made an initial attempt to rescue him in 2014, but it went wrong after the circus went into hiding.
After months of searching, they were finally tipped off by a member of the public and located Hoover in a village in the North of Peru.
He was extremely frail, undernourished and has severe parasites. Heartbreakingly, he was the only one of the 12 tigers kept by Circo Africano to survive.
Hoover underwent months of intensive care, rehabilitation and exercise whilst living at a temporary home in an ADI facility, in order to be healthy enough to travel to his forever home.
Once he had regained his strength and was back to full health, Hoover was flown from Lima to Miami to start a new and much happier life.
He was released into his beautiful new home on his 12th birthday – and seemingly found his new, spacious and more natural surroundings a very welcome change to being cooped up in a tiny cage.
Hoover’s enclosure is complete with a pool for bathing, and the biggest challenge for him was getting used to the water. Tigers are normally natural swimmers, but having been in captivity for so long it took Hoover time to build up the courage to take a dip!
Big Cat Rescue hope that Hoover’s story will inspire others to realise just how cruel animal circuses are – and they couldn’t be happier to see Hoover thriving in his amazing new home!