Three animal welfare groups thought they
had reached an agreement with the Mexican government for the rescue and
relocation of 7 abused tigers. The tigers live in appalling conditions at
Pepe’s restaurant in Cancun. Now, just when the tigers were about to be
flown to safety, the Mexican government has backed out of the plan.
Last Chance for Animals (LCA), The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) and Gente
Por La Defensa Animal (GEPDA) have been talking with Mexican officials since
August 2008, trying to negotiate the release of the 7 tigers. They would
like to see them transferred to TWAS’ 320-acre facility in Colorado where
they can live in a natural habitat and receive better care.
The tigers currently live in concrete and steel cages at Pepe’s
restaurant and were originally used to entertain customers visiting the
Cancun attraction. Then in 2005 Hurricane Wilma hit the coastal town and
destroyed the restaurant. Pepe was not financially able to rebuild the cages
and has let the animals languish in an unsafe environment with stagnant
water, very little food and often sitting in their own urine and feces. In a
video filmed on the premises, Pepe is shown feeding the tigers contaminated
food that they begrudgingly eat because of their extreme hunger. One female
tiger is sick and drags her back leg behind her, but has yet to receive
The three rescue groups thought they had finally struck a deal with the
Mexican government. Pepe’s permits were revoked and the tigers were approved
to be transported to Colorado in early September. However, on September 3rd
officials called off the mission – apparently due to legal proceedings over
LCA, TWAS and GEPDA made one more effort on September 15th urging the
Mexican government to approve the relocation plan. They carried with them
petitions from the public – both in Mexico and the United States.
However, Mexican officials would not budge and are now considering moving
the tigers to several different holding facilities near Mexico City until
the court case has finished. The rescue groups expressed their outrage at
this proposal and explained that separating the animals would traumatize
them and add to their suffering.
They offered to transport the tigers on the spot. They worried that the
tigers could be held in temporary cages for years, while a court case played
But government officials rejected any plan from the three animal welfare
groups and sent them home.
In a press release sent out this week, LCA, TWAS and GEPDA stated - They are continuing their campaign to convince the Mexican government to reinstate the original rescue and are asking the public to contact US and Mexican Officials and urge them to bring swift resolution to the desperate plight of the Cancun Tigers who are in dire need of medical attention. For more information on how to help, please go to Save The Cancun Tigers (Video Included).