Why do tigers need to be rescued?
Every year countless big cats end up in temporary rescue centres across Europe, all with a tragic story to tell. Whether they have been abandoned by private owners (who no longer want them after they outgrow the cute and cuddly phase) or have been subjected to cruelty or bad welfare in circuses , they all need a permanent home. Until they find one, other desperate animals must wait their turn to be saved.
The Wildheart Trust
The Wildheart Trust is based at the Isle of Wight Zoo. The zoo has long been known and respected for its provision of lifelong refuge for unwanted, confiscated and mistreated big cats and is committed to the care and conservation of these wonderful animals. During the Isle of Wight Zoo's 40 year lifetime more than 60 big cats have been given safe haven here. From tigers to lions and jaguars, the dedicated specialised team have worked tirelessly to ensure they have had a safe, loving and enriching place to call home. Currently the zoo's big cat family totals 8 individuals who have come from a variety of unfortunate backgrounds.
Why do we need your help today?
In March of this year we lost one of our beloved tigers, Lola, an elderly ex-circus cat. Lola left behind her good friend Simi, also an ex-circus tiger. In many ways Lola’s loss seems bittersweet, because as much as we miss her we now have the space to give to another tiger. However, in order to facilitate this we must first re-develop the old outdoor enclosure complex to ensure it meets the highest standards for this next era of rescue work. Unfortunately, at this time we do not have funds in our operating budget to cover the cost of this renovation and therefore must fundraise for it.
Message from CEO and trustee of The Wildheart Trust – Charlotte Corney
"Without the support of our friends we would never have evolved into the specialist centre that we are today. Once we have completed the renovation, the team will be ready and waiting to welcome another tiger into The Wildheart family where he or she will be provided with exemplary day to day care"
How much will the project cost?
The project will be undertaken in two phases and will cost a total £50,000.
Phase 1 (£38,000) will include:
- Demolition and removal of old enclosure
- Replacement of exterior fencing
- Construction of a new dividing fence
- Planting and soft landscaping
- Creation of two ponds
- Building of resting platforms
Phase 2 (£12,000) will include:
- Building of two heated rocks with caves
In the unlikely event that the project should come in under budget we will ensure that any surplus funds raised be put into a 'Tiger Pension Plan' for the rescued tiger. These funds would help towards the future care of the individual cat.
The aim is for Phase 1 of the work to be completed by the end of the summer, with sufficient funds raised to enable the zoo to embark on Phase 2 by the autumn of 2017. The sooner the facility is completed, the sooner the zoo can welcome a tiger into its care.
We have already travelled to such a centre in Spain to meet some tigers who are getting ready to be re-homed. These individuals are currently undergoing veterinary treatment and tests so it shouldn’t be long before we can identify the individual to whom we will offer a home – you can be part of this special campaign and give a tiger the chance to finally have a forever home and be part of a loving family.
How can I help?
Your donation will bring us one step closer to reaching our goal. Knowing you have cared enough to make a difference will, in itself, be a wonderful reward for many people. We would, however, also like to thank crowdfunder donors by way of a donation reward. Every donation made will be rewarded.
You can find out more about us here http://www.isleofwightzoo.com
You can also follow the story of the Hearts for Tigers Appeal as it develops via our social media feeds and regular updates to this appeal page.
THANK YOU , Wildheart friends !
From The Wildheart Trust team.