By Devon Prosser

A new video released by Animal Defenders International (ADI) tells the remarkable story of Hoover the tiger, saved from a circus in Peru, where a secretly filmed video shows him being trained with whips and sticks and living in a small cage, and now living in natural woodland with his own pool, next to other tigers at Big Cat Rescue in Florida

Sick and emaciated, Hoover was the sole survivor of an original group of 12 tigers owned by the circus and looked set to follow their fate until Peru’s wildlife department, SERFOR, police and ADI rescued him during a mission to enforce Peru’s new law.

The circus tried to evade the law, disappearing into the mountains for eight months, but they were tracked down and in a surprise raid, Hoover was saved.

Safely in ADI’s care, Hoover was transferred to the Spirit of Freedom rescue centre near Lima and with extensive rehabilitation, much tender loving care, veterinary attention, toys and exercise he recovered and thrived. 

ADI President, Jan Creamer said, “Hoover was very lucky to survive; his last cage mate had died before we could get to him. We were very grateful for the public support and information that helped us to track the circus down. Now he can live in peace in his wonderful new environment.”

After many months of anxious waiting, Hoover got his permit to live in the U.S. and on his 12th birthday, flew from Lima, Peru to Miami, Florida with an ADI care team and a cargo of flowers.
With a welcome party eagerly awaiting his arrival, Hoover was carefully unloaded at the sanctuary and then released into his new home. Stepping out onto the soft grass, Hoover was keen to explore the wonderful habitat, which has jungle-like trees and plants and a spring-fed lake which he has taken to swimming in.

Big Cat Rescue Founder Carole Baskin said, “We are so happy to welcome Hoover and provide him with a safe, peaceful home at our sanctuary in Tampa. He will now spend the rest of his life enjoying the warm breezes of Florida, relaxing in the shady grass, lounging on his platforms and cooling off in our lake. He will literally be a world away from the abuse he suffered most of his life.“

Big Cat Rescue is home to over 80 exotic cats located at 12802 Easy St. in Tampa. Visit

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