Three adorable Siberian tiger cubs were being smuggled by plane from Nikolaev Zoo in Ukraine all the way to a zoo in Syria.
For seven days, they were kept in the most unfitting condition at Beirut Airport. While they were all 60 centimetres high, they were forcedly crammed inside a tiny crate that was only 42 centimetres high. This meant they had little room to move around and were forced to hunch over for such a long time. They were also denied food or water for a whole week, pushing them past their breaking point.
Inside the crate, they were living in their own urine and faeces that was also infested by tiny maggots. The box did not have any indication that it was housing live animals and had no details of a shipper or receiver.
Eventually, Animal’s Lebanon came to their rescue. After spending seven long days in the most distressing conditions they were rescued and are now being cared for. The poor cubs were in pitiable condition. The bottom of their paws was extremely red and raw from standing in their own faeces for such a long time.
For their immediate treatment, a specialized wildlife vet was called upon and they were quickly vaccinated and microchipped. The cats were recovering, but they were not out of danger yet.
Big cats are worth a lot in the black market, and thus their owners try their best to get them back. On the other hand, Animal’s Lebanon fought their case asking for the Tigers not to be taken back by their owners but be permanently confiscated.
Animal’s Lebanon states that Siberian tigers are protected under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species. The conditions and circumstances of their trade are rare and difficult. Far from it, the transport conditions were far from the set regulations.
While they were awaiting a decision from the court, the cubs were taken care of at Animal’s Lebanon. They were enjoying tons of food and love, something they hadn’t experienced all their life. They never have to worry about being treated in an inhuman way again.
To top it off, the Ministry of Agriculture made a final decision! The three cubs will not be returned to their owner but will remain the safe care of Animal’s Lebanon. Now, doesn’t this story have a happy ending?
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