A box with tiny holes on it had been shipped from Ukraine to Syria by plane, but it somehow got stuck at the Beirut airport for a whole week. It wasn’t marked and no one could really assume what could be inside of it, until someone decided to open it. To everyone’s surprise, there were three Siberian tiger cubs in that crate.
It was a devastating sight. The babies were around 60 centimeters tall, and that box was only 42 centimeters high. Forced to hunch over and covered in their own feces without any food or water, it was surprising how they managed to survive.
Nothing indicated there were live animals inside that crate, nor there were any details listed of the shipper or the receiver.
The poor cubs were transported to Animals Lebanon and were provided with the much-needed medical care. Their tiny paws were red from standing in their own urine for so long.
A vet made a thorough check-up after which the little tigers got vaccinated and microchipped and the process of their recovery began.
After their owner realized the cubs didn’t make it to the final destination, he did his best to get them back, but the staff from Animals Lebanon weren’t willing to let go of them and asked for the tigers not only to be seized, but to be permanently confiscated from their owner.
Trading with wild animals is not that uncommon because they are worth a lot on the black market. Siberian tigers are endangered, only about 500 are left in the wild.
According to Animals Lebanon, Siberian tigers are protected under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species. They can only be traded under specific circumstances and only if certain conditions are met. The transport conditions of these three cubs did not meet these regulations.
Animals Lebanon provided the cubs with all they needed, plenty of food, lots of love, and a vast space to run and explore. They will remain in their care after the Ministry of Agriculture had made a decision for the 4-month-old tigers not to be returned to the owner who treated them poorly.
Here are the babies only 28 days after their rescue. They are clean, happy, and playful thanks to the staff at Animals Lebanon.