Tigers from Gqeberha predator park relocated to Free State

Posted by Anita Froneman on 26 June 2021

Two Siberian tigers from Seaview Predator Park in Gqeberha, including one named Jasper that killed a park employee, have been relocated to Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary near Bethlehem in the Free State.

David Solomon was killed by the tiger on Wednesday, June 16. The Park released a statement saying the fencing in the enclosure housing two tigers, Jasper and Jade, was being repaired when Jasper jumped the exterior fence and got out, attacking Solomon.

The park contacted The Aspinall Foundation to help secure a new home for Jasper, as they could no longer ‘ensure his safety’. The Foundation collaborated with Four Paws, which manages Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary.

Four Paws, who states they are an animal welfare organisation that works “for animals under direct human influence,” said in a statement:

“LIONSROCK is a world-class sanctuary where breeding, hunting, trade of any sort and animal interactions are prohibited. LIONSROCK provides a species appropriate lifelong home for big cats who have been rescued from exploitative and precarious situations from all over the world.

“The translocation operation was led by veterinary specialist Dr Peter Caldwell, who tranquillised both tigers and did final health checks. The team then loaded the tigers into Lionsrock’s customised tiger crates and loaded them onto two vehicles. They were then transported approximately 1,000km and released at Lionsrock on the morning of June 23, 2021. The tigers are both doing well and are adapting very well to their new home,” said the NGOs [The Aspinall Foundation and Four Paws].

Fiona Miles, Director of FOUR PAWS in South Africa added:

As tigers are not a native species to South Africa, and whilst they may be afforded protection under the Animals Protection Act, and globally the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, their exploitation in private keeping, intensive breeding for commercial purposes and the tourism industry is not protected by legislation in South Africa. While the country has recently made the landmark decision that it will no longer allow the breeding of lions in captivity for commercial purposes, tigers have been omitted from this protection.

“We believe there are around 1,500 tigers being kept in cruel conditions across the country that will continue to suffer if this is not addressed. The animals are bred for tourist attractions, petting and bottle feeding, while they are young cubs. Then as juveniles they are used in walk-with or photo prop opportunities before they are killed, and their parts and derivates used in illegal international trade.

“We, therefore, urge the South African government to include tigers in the captive breeding ban, as these animals will simply become the focus area, and subsequently more of these incidents will take place,” Miles concluded.


Gqeberha captive predator park employee killed by tiger

Picture:  Four Paws

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