Five rescued tigers get new home in Spain

Five of ten tigers - which had spent days trapped in a truck on the Polish-Belarussian border in October - now have a new home.

After being cared for temporarily at a zoo in Western Poland… they were sedated on Monday, and moved to a specialized animal rescue facility in Spain.

David van Gennep from the Animal Advocacy and Protection organization is caring for the tigers now, and says they could have died.

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(SOUNDBITE) (English) ANIMAL ADVOCACY AND PROTECTION (AAP) MANAGING DIRECTOR, DAVID VAN GENNEP, SAYING:

"This tiger here is called Gogh, because he's lacking one ear and he was one of the tigers that was in the horror transport, the transport coming from Italy with ten tigers that was meant to go to Dagestan. Most probably those animals would have died there, because probably they would have been used for traditional medicines, Chinese medicines."

One of the original ten tigers did die in the truck. Four others will remain in Polish zoos.

The Spanish animal rescue facility is looking for donations to help care for the other five - who are settling into their new space.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ANIMAL ADVOCACY AND PROTECTION (AAP) MANAGING DIRECTOR, DAVID VAN GENNEP, SAYING:"And once we have them in the quarantine we have to let them settle down, because they are so excited, these animals went through hell, but also means that the real job then starts for us, because we have to make sure that they fully recover, and in order to do that, we also need some help, because we need to be able to take care of those animals... so we hope that we'll get some support from the general public, because we cannot do this alone."

The organization says it has got the ball rolling to become the official owner of the tigers - to ensure they will not end up in a circus or a poorly-maintained zoo.

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