Greek veterinarians are currently battling to save a white tiger that was found abandoned in a garbage bin at an Athens zoo, according to Reuters, the tiger is believed to be a victim of illegal wildlife trade.
The tiger is three months old and was found on the 28th of February in the parking lot of Attica Zoological Park. The zoo founder, Jean-Jacques Lesueur, said “it is the first time ever we had such an animal dumped outside our zoo,”
“We had a number of cases of animals dumped, but usually these are abandoned pets – puppies, kittens, tortoises … but a tiger? Never,” he added
The zoo’s security camera showed a car driving up to the garbage bins before midnight the night before the tiger was found. Authorities are trying to identify and trace the license plates.
When the tiger was found, it was dehydrated, thin, and in a serious condition. Noi Psaroudaki, a veterinarian at the zoo, said that she had never seen an animal in such a condition.
“She was probably fed an improper diet, and she is severely deficient in vitamins and minerals, and this makes her bones extremely fragile.” She said
X-rays showed that a metal pin has been placed in one of the cub’s legs. Lesueur said that if the animal makes it out alive, it needs to be moved to a sanctuary because the zoo has no other animal of its kind.
Wildlife trade in Europe is a billion euro business where exotic animals are sold for European buyers.
Maria Ganoti, head of Greek wildlife rescue association ANIMA, said “We know that animals enter Greece illegally – snakes, tigers, like this one, it is not the first time a tiger has entered.”
She also said that these animals usually come from entry points in Türkiye or Cyprus, however, Greece is now becoming an entry gate for the rest of Europe.