Rescued tigers spend first Christmas in forever home

Five tigers rescued by Chris Packham and his partner Charlotte Corney have
enjoyed their first ever Christmas presents at the Isle of Wight Zoo in Sandown.

A year ago, the tigers had been trapped in a squalid cage, then made to
perform in cruel circuses in Spain. This year, they are enjoying their Christmas
presents at their new sanctuary, the Isle of Wight Zoo.

The tigers – Natasha, Antonella, Zoppa, Mondo and Girona – all received
wrapped up presents scented with their favourite perfume.

Charlotte explained: “We often use perfume as animal enrichment as the
animals react to it as though it were catnip – we think this is because of the
pheromones in it.”

Charlotte continued: “We can’t give them what we’d love to give them,
complete freedom. They wouldn’t survive in the wild. But we can protect their
interests, love them and make sure they have the best veterinary care.
“Their festive presents crafted with care by our team are the icing on the

Charlotte also said the new tigers had also helped her to forget the pain of
losing her hand-reared tiger, Zia.

Chris spoke about the time he visited the animals for the first time in the UK:
“One of the males came out of his crate after the journey from Spain and
ambled over to his pool.

“He backed in, as tigers do, then swam. He’d probably never swum before. I
can’t tell you he smiled, but I can tell you he was happy. And playing a small
role in making the old boy happy made my summer.”

The £20,000 cost of rehabilitating the five tigers and transporting them to the
Isle of Wight had been met through generous donations.