San Diego non-profit rescues tiger from Greece

ALPINE (CNS) – A tiger that had been living in “deplorable conditions” in Greece will arrive in San Diego Thursday and be shipped to the Lions, Tigers & Bears sanctuary in Alpine, its founder said.

Phevos and six other tigers were seized from an Italian traveling circus group in 2002. He was placed in the Trikala Zoo, outside of Athens, where his companion died in March, according to LTB founder Bobbi Brink. The female tiger, Athena, had an untreated open wound on her paw, according to LTB.

“This tiger has been living in deplorable conditions for years,” Brink said. “We were his last hope and finally he will get the care he needs.”

The man who placed the tigers at the zoo in Greece contacted LTB and said the conditions the felines were living in deteriorated as Greece’s economy spun downhill, according to Brink.

The nonprofit sanctuary in the foothills east of San Diego was in the spotlight a couple of years ago for taking in a bear named Meatball, who was captured during one of his occasional trips into residential neighborhoods near Los Angeles to forage for food.

According to LTB, it costs at least $10,000 a year to care for a tiger at the facility.

The organization is requesting donations. More information is available online at or by calling (619) 659-8078.

Categories: KUSI