On September 22, 2015 Phevos the tiger peacefully passed away. Phevos' health had been on a slow decline over the last two months of his life. He had progressively shown signs of pain and became increasingly withdrawn from his normal interests and activities. His appetite had steadily decreased, making our ability to provide pain medication difficult, since medication was administered through his daily diet. Before his state deteriorated further, the decision was made with much contemplation and a heavy heart to humanely euthanize our dear friend, Phevos.
Phevos was truly a tiger that defied all odds thrown his way. Born in captivity, and used in an Italian touring circus group, Phevos was seized with his mate Athena, and five other tigers, by Greek authorities in 2002. Phevos and Athena were sent to the Trikala Zoo, outside of Athens, Greece where they lived together until March 2014, when Athena passed away due to medical neglect. Athena had a gaping wound in her paw caused by a Christmas ornament, that went untreated for over a year. With the surge of the economic crisis in Greece, the conditions of the zoo deteriorated over time, making Phevos' rescue an urgent matter, as he was not receiving necessary care.
David Barnes, a UK citizen who initially helped place the two tigers at the Trikala Zoo, and who first brought the plight of Phevos to our attention, helped to arrange the monumental rescue that would bring this suffering tiger to Lions Tigers & Bears.
Eight months after Athena's death, Phevos was rescued from the Trikala Zoo and brought to Lions Tigers & Bears, where he lived out the remainder of his life.
Phevos' rescue made international headlines, as he was "the tiger that traveled halfway across the world for a better life." And a better life indeed is what Phevos received at our sanctuary. Every effort was made to ensure his comfort and restore his health.
Phevos was a gentle giant, with a calm and reserved demeanor. He enjoyed sunning himself in the cool grass, lounging in the shallows of his pool and taking naps in his beds of hay. Phevos liked to spend time with Maverick, our younger male tiger, as they would enjoy each other's company through their habitat fences.
The loss of Phevos was heartbreaking to our keepers, staff and volunteers. Our team was honored to have been able to provide Phevos with loving care and attention for the last year of his life. We are deeply appreciative of all who helped play a role in providing a better life for Phevos by helping with his rescue and care.