TIERART Wild Animal Sanctuary is the result of a cooperation between FOUR PAWS and the association TIERART e.V. which was founded in 1999. The fate of four former circus tigers and the need to find a permanent home for them gave animal protectionist, Roswitha Bour, the impetus to found the association. These four tigers belonged to the state circus of the former GDR. After the reunification of Germany their fate was uncertain. The tigers would have been put down if there had not been a small group of people who passionately fought to save them. The registered charity TIERART was founded to give the campaign and future work a solid foundation.
In 2001, the association bought a former US military site in order to give native and exotic wild animals a new home. A major motivation was the nationwide lack of such institutions in Germany.
Since 2013, TIERART e.V. has been cooperating with FOUR PAWS with the common goal of creating a species-appropriate facility for big cats. FOUR PAWS provided financial support for the construction of the station and ensured that the best animal welfare standards were taken into account in the construction of the big cat enclosures by providing advice on the content. The first enclosures were completed in July 2015. In mid-2016, FOUR PAWS and TIERART e.V. together founded TIERART charitable Ltd.
At the moment, TIERART offers a home to three tigers. These will stay with there because of their health condition, which makes a transfer impossible. They need intensive medical treatment and special care with individual enrichment and behavioral training. In addition to the tigers, a puma and a serval are also in the care of TIERART. They come from illegal private keeping and were confiscated.
The animal protection center covers an area of 14 hectares. The three big cat enclosures take up more than 2,800 square meters. Native wild animals are rehabilitated on the remaining area of the sanctuary.
Other animals at the facility
In addition to the big cats, TIERART houses and cares for numerous native wild animals such as foxes, badgers, wild cats, hares, raccoons, dormice and hedgehogs. In addition, there is a large herd of sheep and goats.
Since 2017, TIERART has been running a sanctuary for lynx in cooperation with the EU-LIFE-LUCHS project. Here, injured or orphaned lynx from the reintroduction program are taken in, cared for and then released back into the wild in the Palatinate Forest. During the past years, further enclosures for wildcats, pastel foxes, red foxes and raccoons could be planned and built.
“TIERART” is an abbreviation of its German full name “TIER- und ARTENSCHUTZ” which means animal and species conservation.