Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter

TAMPA (CBSMiami/AP) — A tiger rescued from a circus in Peru is heading to his new home at a sanctuary in Tampa.

Animal Defenders International seized Hoover last year to enforce Peru’s ban on wild animals in circuses.

The animal rescue group says the cat was sick and emaciated and lived at a temporary rescue facility in Lima where he was rehabilitated for the past year.

“This is part of a huge project down in Peru where we’ve rescued over a hundred animals,” said Vice President and co-founder of Animal Defenders International Tim Phillips. “Next week, we’re going to be flying 33 lions we’ve rescued from circuses back to Africa. So it’s just fantastic seeing all these different animals go home. Lions, tigers, bears, monkeys.”

Hoover was flown into the Miami airport Friday night and taken to Big Cat Rescue Saturday.

The 12-year-old tiger will enjoy a very spacious enclosure with lots of shady trees and grass. He’ll also have access to a spring-fed lake for swimming. Hoover’s habitat also features a large platform, several dens and plenty of toys.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments