Tiger of contention: famous circus performers want to take 'evidence' seized from a drug dealer with them, animal rights activists against

Now Luna tiger is being nursed in the zoo of Naberezhnye Chelny, it is fed with fresh goat's milk and being pampered

On 7 February, 32-year-old president of the charity fund Zdorovye Deti Dzhavid Magerramov was detained in the case over drug dealing in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny. The search of his apartment revealed a two-month tiger cub. The members of the circus dynasty of Zapashny are ready to take the tiger cub with them, the representative of animal trainers told about this to Realnoe Vremya. Animal rights activists are opposing it, they consider that it will be better for Luna in the rehabilitation centre. Now the two-month tiger cub is being in the zoo of Tulpar youth athletic centre, and the director of the institution does not mind to keep the animal. Earlier, they nursed to health a lion cub, who got to them in its infancy. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Exotic ''evidence'' in safekeeping in Tulpar

The two-month-old tiger cub named Luna (with an emphasis on 'u') is now being in the zoo at the children's and youth equestrian school Tulpar of Naberezhnye Chelny. Police officers on behalf of Head of the Executive Committee Rinat Abdullin delivered the tiger cub there — this is the only place in the city where the exotic animal could be provided with a comfortable existence.

Tulpar has already had experience in keeping big cats. Four year ago, they got the lioness Kiara in its infancy age. However, there was no criminal element — the lioness was transferred to a mini-zoo by ex-mayor of Naberezhnye Chelny Vasil Shaykhraziev, who received the animal as a gift.

Mars Gilyazov personally feeds Luna with fresh milk from a bottle, she is living in his office

According to Director of the youth school Tulpar Mars Gilyazov, Luna was very skinny, for her age she has a weight deficit.

''Today, veterinarians have visited her, made a diet, we will fatten her. She's eating goat's milk out of a bottle for now. By the way, we breed goats ourselves,'' Gilyazov told.

In the zoo, there are 12 kinds of animals — only three wild species — lion, a family of wolves and now a tigress. Mars Gilyazov personally feeds Luna with fresh milk from a bottle, she is living in his office. There is no enclosure for the tiger cub yet, but Gilyazov is ready to build it and leave Luna at home, if the ministry of internal affairs permits and instructs the leadership of Naberezhnye Chelny. While the animal is an evidence and transferred to Tulpar for safekeeping.

Animal rights activists are against the transfer of Luna in the circus, Kazan zoo-botanical garden wants to keep it

According to Gilyazov, the tiger cub has a veterinary certificate issued in Samara. But how the animal fell into the hands of a drug dealer and what he was going to do with it next — is unknown.

The story of the tiger cub from the drug lab touched everyone, circuses and rehabilitation centres for wild animals want to take Luna to them.

''I contacted the Kaluga rehabilitation centre Feniks, they watched a video with the tiger cub and said that she had rickets due to improper feeding. They are ready to take it to them, they have experience in caring for wild animals. Although Tulpar is also a good zoo, but they have no conditions for the maintenance of tigers,'' animal rights activist Evelina Skripochkina is concerned.

Most importantly, according to the animal rights activist, is not to give the tiger in the circus.

''For circus performers it is very convenient – small age, but it would be desirable that the 'child' lived a normal life. Not to break its will, not to force to do uncharacteristic to them things.''

The Kazan Zoological and Botanical gardens immediately refused to shelter Luna, even despite the rapid expansion of the zoo and possibilities for the maintenance of predators.

Александр Малев''This tiger cub is of mixed blood, its origin is unknown. But under our breeding book, we must keep a Siberian tiger, and when the reconstruction is completed, we will get pure-blooded Siberian tigers. If we take a mixed-blooded animal, we can't participate in the breeding programme. Unfortunately, it is impossible to define by eye and even genetically whether it is Siberian or Bengal tiger, or a crossbreed,'' Deputy Director Alexander Malev explained to Realnoe Vremya.

Zapashny brothers are ready to take Luna with themselves

The representatives of circus dynasty of Zapashnyh are ready to take the tiger with them. According to the sources of Realnoe Vremya, the brothers even appealed to President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov with a request to give the tiger cub to them.

We failed to obtain confirmation of Askold and Edgard Zapashny. But the representative of another brother of the dynasty — Mstislav Zapashny — told Realnoe Vremya that he would take Luna in the circus with pleasure.

''We are not tamers, we do not take animals from the wild. We breed and train animals, as well as breed and train domestic dogs. This tiger was probably born in captivity,'' said Sergey Belinsky, the deputy director of the circus of Mstislav Zapashny.

We failed to obtain confirmation of Askold and Edgard Zapashny. Photo: zapachnye.ru

According to Belinsky, they had a similar case in practice — in Krasnoyarsk poachers killed a bear, her little bears almost died. They were brought to them, and now the bears tour with circus performers.

''Now all animal trainers came to the conclusion that animals must not be beaten, starved. Those people for whom it is a business of life, they have switched to humane training. Our tigers eat 9 kg of meat a day!'' Belinsky convinces opponents of circus with animals and adds that if the tiger cub will be given to them, they will create for it all necessary conditions.

''The same Ekaterina Andreeva opposed the circus with animals, but look at her collection of fur coats! Today Edgar Zapashny has posted a video in Instagram, where the same Andreeva a year ago behind the scenes of the circus was touched by a little bear,'' says Belinsky.

By Daria Turtseva, photo and video from Mars Gilyazov’s personal archive