Wednesday 16 December 2020 | 8

Rescue to the power of ten: Masson's tigers are no longer in the wagon!


Mis à jour le 30 December 2020

Wild tigers are disappearing from the face of the earth. Those in captivity experience a living hell. The ten tigers and tigresses confined in the wagon of the circus trainer Mario Masson had been driven mad by suffering so their case was urgent. As a result of the complaint that One Voice submitted almost a year ago following a long investigation, surveillance and infiltration, as our animal-protection association was able to offer them a life in a sanctuary the courts have decided to seize them. This shows that it is now possible to save all animals held in captivity in circuses.

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A magnificent victory for these tigers trained by the circus

After months of uncertainty, this time it worked! The '10 tigers in 1 wagon', as we had called our campaign to save them, has finally ended with them being seized! Since they were born and separated from their mothers they had known only the road, bars and the whip. On the 16 December 2020, after almost two years of investigation and indefatigable struggle, mainly behind the scenes, Tim, Leo, Tara, Yma, Oona, Dian, Rani, Ashley, Lily and Douglas (we've given new names to some of them) left the yard of the disused factory with its high brick walls where their trainer was hiding the wagon where they had been confined for years near Beauvais.

We organized everything: transport as an abnormal load, the places that awaited them with our partner refuge Tonga Terre d’Accueil for initial treatment but also individual dens in a sanctuary in Italy, where their journey will be over as soon as the court proceedings have ended. We are paying all the costs of looking after them. We shall need your support to do so. It's a relief to know that they are now safe and well on the way towards the bright future that we have arranged for them.

Their living hell had lasted too long

Our investigation showed that in a year with the trainer Masson (already on the run from accusations in the Netherlands of ill-treating Betty, an elephant who has just died in suspicious circumstances) the 'leisure park' had never been set up. Neither before nor after the galas, as he calls them, (a circus festival here and there), nor in the Summer. But only to create an illusion in the newspapers on the day we finally published the images of the ordeal these big cats were suffering.

For the moment we must remain cautious about what to expect, but the ten survivors could be overweight or even obese because of a lack of exercise, have problems linked to inbreeding and have other health problems too.

In the wagon they were shut up with one another day after day whereas in the wild tigers are solitary creatures. Although they weigh almost 300 kg they had less than two square metres each and nothing to do. Imagine what that was like for them when in the wild they range alone over a territory of 200 square kilometres (77 square miles), when – as we know only too well at present – for humans, staying at home for weeks on end and having one's liberties curtailed causes psychological suffering.

For animals life in a circus amounts to mistreatment

As Barbara Pompili mentioned during her long-awaited announcements on 29 September 2020, animals are kept in circuses despite captivity being incompatible with their welfare. Circuses are still not subject to any deadline: no clear plan to abolish them has been drawn up yet. However so many aspects of the regulations are infringed: non-existent paperwork, trafficking of cubs, identification by questionable microchipping, ill-treatment – with circuses there is plenty to choose from.

On Thursday 17 December, the day after this large-scale seizure, we took part in another meeting about these animals with the Ministry of Ecology. We have just established that it is now possible to rescue individual animals held captive in circuses!

We are trying to raise €150,000 to meet the initial cost of looking after Tim, Leo, Tara, Yma, Oona, Dian, Rani, Ashley, Lily and Douglas: for food, veterinary treatment and the construction of vast enclosures and dens in a sanctuary – durable enclosures, which in future will be able to welcome other animals saved from circuses. Take part!

Julia Mothé
Hr blog

In the subject

Circuses supply skins and corpses to a tout-Paris taxidermist. Eye opening. Poliakov trial: does France really protect wild animals?

Comments 8

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Piercha | Saturday 19 December 2020

Très sincères remerciements et toutes mes félicitations pour avoir sauvé et sorti ces tigres de l'enfer des circassiens qui n'ont aucune compassion envers les animaux et les maintiennent à vie dans l'enfermement dans des conditions déplorables ! Grâce a vous ils vont pouvoir être soignés et se mouvoir dans des espaces de semi-liberté. Vous êtes des personnes au grand cœur et respectueuses de la vie animale, n'en déplaise à la princesse de Monaco et à tous les bourreaux comme les circassiens qui détiennent des animaux sauvages dans des conditions intolérables que les humains eux-même ne pourraient supporter!
Votre tâche est immense et nous y contribuons dans la mesure de nos moyens selon la philosophie du colibris!

erics | Thursday 17 December 2020

Bonjour,
Merci pour votre combat ! Où sont les tigres en ce moment ?

Nina | Wednesday 16 December 2020

Bravo et merci pour ces pauvres tigres qui vont enfin pouvoir tourner le dos à cette vie de misère et apprécier pleinement leur nouvelle vie !

Val de bourgogne | Wednesday 16 December 2020

Merci pour votre engagement envers les animaux. Trop peu de personnes se sentent concernés et pourtant ce/votre combat est essentiel, notre "humanité" en dépend !!!