Tiger Rescued from Greek Zoo Dies in California

phevos-tigerPhevos, a tiger that was rescued from a failing zoo in Greece, died in the California wildlife sanctuary where he was taken, following his rescue. The 17-year-old tiger had to be euthanized, after his health showed a major decline in the last months.

The wildlife sanctuary veterinarians claimed that it was becoming impossible to manage his pain with medication and to feed him. Therefore, the sanctuary had to make the difficult decision to humanely euthanize the tiger.

“Phevos was truly a tiger that defied all odds thrown his way. Born in captivity, and used in an Italian touring circus group, Phevos was seized with his mate Athena, and five other tigers, by Greek authorities in 2002. Phevos and Athena were sent to the Trikala Zoo, outside of Athens, Greece where they lived together until March 2014, when Athena passed away due to medical neglect. Athena had a gaping wound in her paw caused by a Christmas ornament that went untreated for over a year. With the surge of the economic crisis in Greece, the conditions of the zoo deteriorated over time, making Phevos’ rescue an urgent matter, as he was not receiving necessary care,” wrote the sanctuary officials on their official Facebook page.

“Every effort was made to ensure his comfort and restore his health,” they added, “The loss of Phevos is heartbreaking to our keepers, staff and volunteers. Our team is honored to have been able to provide Phevos with loving care and attention for the last year of his life. We are deeply appreciative of all who helped play a role in providing a better life for Phevos by helping with his rescue and care.”

Watch Phevos’ trip from Trikala to San Diego and an interview with his Greek caretaker.