Mistreated tigers rescued from truck heading to Russia recovering in Poland

A truck carrying ten tigers was held at the Polish-Belarusian border and seized by the Polish authorities and the animals have been placed in Poznań Zoo, in western Poland and at an animal sanctuary in Człuchów, northern Poland.

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The tigers set out from Italy on October 22. Their destination was Dagestan, a republic of the Russian Federation located in the region of Caucasus.

It was halted at the Polish-Belarusian border crossing point, Koroszczyn, in eastern Poland on October 26. The Belarusian authorities did not allow the truck to enter the country due to the drivers' lack of visas and proper certificates issued in Italy.

While the truck was held at the crossing point, one of the tigers died. Polish veterinary authorities found the animals in bad condition.

The remaining tigers were transported to Poznań Zoo and the animal sanctuary, Canpol in Człuchów.

The sanctuary received two animals. A representative of the facility said that two young male specimens are stable and their condition is improving.

Other tigers remain at the zoo in Poznań. After they recover, they will be sent to a sanctuary in Spain.

The organiser of the transport, Rinat V. (name withheld under Polish privacy law) was charged with animal abuse by Polish prosecutors. The court decided that he will be temporarily arrested for three months.

The suspect did not plead guilty. He testified but prosecutors have not revealed what he said.