AAP removes wild animals from circuses in Portugal | abroad

Animal welfare organization Stichting AAP removed two severely gauntlet and pearly tigers from the Portuguese circus this week. The establishment found the animals in a horrific condition. Tigers lived with amputated claws in a circus cart that was very small.

As the true savior, the AAP Foundation came at the right time this week to give the three wild animals a new future. The animals were in poor condition. They looked like they didn’t have long to live, according to the AAP website. For example, two tigers (11 and 16 years old) have almost no muscles and amputated claws. The oldest tiger had a large tumor under its tongue and kidney problems. Animals spent their lives in a circus cart. On the other hand, the lioness (19) is very fat due to a diet rich in fat. According to the owners, she was kept as a pet. The animals are now receiving extensive medical care.


From 2025, the exploitation of wild animals in circuses is prohibited in Portugal. That is why many circuses are currently considering what to do with their animals. Until 2025 they can voluntarily donate their wild animals. They will be forced to do so when the law takes effect after three years. In 2021, the Portuguese circus still had 17 wild animals. In 2009, when the first “circus law” stipulated that no new animals could be added, the total number was 170.

Half a year rescue operation

The AAP Foundation is no stranger to Portugal. The Portuguese Institute for the Protection of Nature and Forests (ICNF) knew the organization from previous contacts. That is why the ICNF has asked the Dutch organization to collect the animals and arrange a shelter for them. According to the Arab American News Agency, it took six months to organize the entire rescue operation. It happened this week. Through a major logistical process – including anesthesia – they transported the Tigers and the Pearl into their new future. The AAP describes it as a landmark in which an agreement can be reached with Portuguese authorities to remove suffering animals.

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The AAP previously brought three crocodiles, three boas and four eels from Portugal. All animals are now housed in AAP shelters in Spain and Germany. There they will have to get used to their new environment and their caretakers. This circus animal story is not an isolated story. For example, the Dutch Wildlife Advocates Foundation has also announced that it is participating in a major international campaign to: Four tigers rescued from an abandoned train car. The circus had abandoned the four animals in northern Argentina.

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