Not much you might say, except that they live less than 3 kilometers from us!

We are talking about the tigers and lions of Falida, a project of the Four Feet Foundation. Here animals that have been mistreated, abused, neglected or mutilated are cared for. Large cat-like animals from war zones or from zoos where they cannot  be properly cared for.

Together with Brent I have an appointment with Simone, enthusiastically we are received in Nijeberkoop. After an introduction, we are shown around. What an experience, being so close to these magnificent beasts! What mighty heads, big legs and a  imposing appearance!

How relaxed and in good shape they are now, of course, has not always been this way… Take Ivan-Asen, he was born in 2014 at Ragrad Zoo a zoo in Bulgaria that also served as an illegal breeding station. Ivan-Asen has had a rough life, when he was rescued he was malnourished, dehydrated, emaciated and very anxious. Ivan is the result of inbreeding, and has fused as a result. On March 27, 2018, he arrived in Felida, here he is receiving all the care he needs to recover.

Pfoee heee, Brent and I are really quite impressed with these mighty beasts, Brent in particular is bawling his eyes out and asking Simone all about it. It is therefore very special to get to know these Big Cats so closely I anxiously hold his hand). Already fidgeting, they walk past us. Fruting is the little sound they make as a greeting, it sounds a bit like ppfrut pffrut.  What struck me immediately is that they all so clearly have their own look and eye appeal. Some have yellow/green eyes, others more gray/green and there is even a squinting lady.

As icing on the cake, we also got to look inside the cub enclosure of Masoud and Terez, these little toddlers are six months old and look at you endearingly with a crooked head. They were also born in Bulgaria and disowned by their mother. At Felida, they are allowed to grow up to be strong and healthy lions.

Felida depends entirely on gifts from donors. And that is far from easy.  All proceeds benefit the animals and their enclosures. That’s why I came up with a fun plan,

Together with Nadine de Ruiter Photography we will capture all these beauties on camera,  Then Fabryk Design will get to work, we will make posters, cool canvases and who knows what else!  Part of the proceeds will again benefit the Felida foundation. Thus, together we will ensure that the Big Cats have a healthy and safe home for years to come.

Photo credit: Jeanine Noordermeer