An unmarked wooden box, only 16 inches tall, was left unattended at the Beirut airport in Lebanon. Finally, after 7 days some workers decided to open it up.
Inside, they were shocked to find three endangered Siberian tiger cubs crammed into a tiny space. They were covered in feces and urine and were starved. They were just 4 months old and infested with hundreds of maggots.
"Nothing indicated that the box contained tigers or even live animals, and there were no details of a shipper or receiver," rescue group Animals Lebanon (AL) wrote.
The cubs were being transferred from a zoo in Ukraine to a zoo in Syria but had gotten delayed. AL decided to petition a judge, allowing the animals to be released into their care. The judge realized the cubs would ultimately die if they were left in such bad conditions, so he put them in the care of the rescue group.
"The tigers did not have names," Jason Mier, executive directior of AL said. "[They] were instead referred to by a code." So Mier and his team named the cubs after people who have helped animals through his organization. "May is the most confident female and the first to eat and explore new enrichment items," he said. "Tania follows May to look at new things; she seems like May's sidekick."
Now, all three tiger cubs are recovering from their journey and playing with all the toys they can imagine.
"Their paw pads were raw and red from being covered in urine, as were their back legs and thighs," AL wrote. "They had not received the proper vaccinations so all three were vaccinated. Only one tiger was found to have a microchip, though documents state that all three should have been microchipped."
Unfortunately for these tiger cubs, are not out of danger yet. They are still trying to have the tigers confiscated from the zoo permanently, so there is a chance these poor guys will end up in bad conditions.
"Big cats can be worth tens of thousands of dollars on the black market. The owner is fighting to get them back," AL wrote. "And we are fighting for the tigers."
STOP BABY TIGERS FROM ENDING UP IN THE BLACK MARKET! OUTRAGED?!?! SHARE this terrible story and help protect these three Siberian tigers. Stuck for seven days covered in their own urine and feces in a tiny maggot infested crate. They were shoved in a crate that was only 42 centimeters high while the animals were about 60 centimeters tall. These tigers were saved from further cruel suffering and possibly death by an order of a judge. They arrived a week earlier on a flight from Ukraine and were supposedly destined to a zoo in Syria. Nothing indicated that the box contained tigers or even live animals, and there were no details of a shipper or receiver. Other than an Air Waybill number, the box was completely unmarked… These four month old tigers are now in Animals Lebanon care. A specialized wildlife vet was flown in to give them all a medical examination. Their paw pads were raw and red from being covered in urine, and were their back legs and thighs. They had not received the proper vaccinations so all three were vaccinated. Only one tiger was found to have a microchip, though documents state that all three should have been microchipped. They are improving – but they are still at risk! Big cats can be worth tens of thousands of dollars on the black market. The owner is fighting to get them back, and we are fighting for the tigers and rule of law. Siberian tigers are protected under the Convention on International Tarde of Endangered Species (CITES). They can only be traded under very specific circumstances, and only when a number of other conditions are met. Officials have already stated that the transport conditions do not meet the regulations of CITES or IATA Live Animal Regulations. The owner, exporter and shipper is one man listed as 'Private Entrepreneur'... Animals Lebanon submitted today our case asking for the animals not just to be seized, but to be permanently confiscated. The Ministry of Agriculture, Judge of Urgent Matters and Customs have all made the right decisions. Now they need a decision to permanently protect them and prevent them from becoming part of the multibillion dollar wildlife trafficking industry!Posted by Animals Lebanon on Thursday, March 30, 2017