Polish zoo to save tigers stuck on border with Belarus

The tigers have been stuck on the border for eight days. They were transported from Italy and were supposed to reach Dagestan, Russia. At the border it turned out that the drivers and animals lacked the necessary documents. Their transport was stopped and one of the animals has already died from stress and exhaustion.

The transport was allowed through by the Polish border service as the men transporting the tigers submitted documents required in the European Union for the transport of animals protected under the Washington Convention. However, the Belarusian border services refused the transport entry because the animals did not have the veterinary certificates issued by the Italian veterinary services. In addition the drivers did not have valid visas.

"The tigers are watered and fed, but due to the fact that it is a car exclusively for transporting animals, the conditions are not comfortable," Marta Szpakowska from the Customs and Tax Administration said.

The transport contained 10 tigers. Unfortunately, one of the animals died due to stress and exhaustion.

Employees of Poznań Zoo who arrived at the site, reported that the animals were in very bad shape and that they need to be moved as soon as possible.

Poznań Zoo offered to temporarily take care of the tigers, but the institution needed support itself. As soon as Poznań Zoo announced a fundraising for the animal's care, medical supplies and preparation of adequate housing, companies, organisations and Internet users rushed to help.

Eventually, the tigers are to be transported to the AAP centre in Alicante, Spain. Until then, Poznań Zoo will provide shelter for all nine tigers.

The Prosecutor's Office is investigating if the case qualifies as animal abuse. Meanwhile, the Veterinary Inspectorate reported that it is in contact with veterinary services in Italy, from where the tigers were sent.