When FOUR PAWS first met Caruso in 2013, he was very stressed, was neglected, and had severe dental problems. The team at FELIDA Big Cat Sanctuary worked hard with him to help him recover from his health and behavior problems. After much success, we came to the decision that he had become a relaxed and playful tiger that no longer needed specialized care. He was now ready for more space and we were able to provide him with that at our LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary. We successfully transferred Caruso to LIONSROCK in March 2019.
Caruso was born in 2006 in a German safari park and traded to a circus where he was then raised by hand. When he was two years old, he ended up in an overly crowded rescue center in the Netherlands. Until FOUR PAWS took over, all he knew was pain, stress, and boredom. But thanks to the specialized at FELIDA, Caruso recovered from his past suffering and found his forever home at LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary.
Before heading to South Africa on the biggest journey of his life, Caruso was trained to voluntarily enter his transport crate. That way, stress could be minimized, and risky anesthesia avoided. The FELIDA animal caretaker who helped Caruso recover, also accompanied him to LIONSROCK. Shortly after his arrival, Caruso explored his new enclosure curiously. Within minutes, he was comfortable enough to take a refreshing dip into his pool.
In the month after Caruso was released from the adaptation area into his big enclosure, he suddenly showed signs of pain and did not want to move or eat much. As the caretakers could not see anything obvious, the veterinarian was called. He examined Caruso and found old fractures on some vertebrae that caused the sudden pain.
Caruso was put on pain medication and supporting supplements. He thankfully improved immediately, started eating more, and walking around again. The fractures were most likely a result of the poor nutrition and lack of calcium when he was growing up, affecting bone development.
Unfortunately, many of our big cats suffer such consequences as a result of the conditions they were kept before their rescue by FOUR PAWS. Luckily Caruso has recovered well and enjoys his new home at LIONSROCK again, where he likes to watch his neighbors or rest comfortably at one of his favorite spots in his enclosure.