Big Cat Rescue mission gives sanctuary to circus animals

Ban on circus performances only partial help.

A tiger is catching the food.A tiger is catching the food.(Source: Radka Minarechová)

A piece of raw meat hangs from a wooden pole in the middle of a pen. Suddenly, a tiger jumps, snatches “the catch” and then drags it away to find a quiet spot to eat.

Dozens of people watch on as the tiger disappears with its food. Standing behind a glass wall at the Malkia Park – Big Cat Rescue animal sanctuary in western Slovakia, they listen as a member of staff tells them interesting facts about the animals at the sanctuary, including their age, where they originally came from or how much they eat a day.

“Many people mistake us for a zoo, but we’re not a zoo,” said Klaudia Kollár, founder of the Malkia Park – Big Cat Rescue sanctuary near Orechová Potôň, about 40 kilometres from Bratislava.

Malkia Park is one of only a few organisations in Slovakia which rescues wild animals from circuses or private zoos.

After a long and hard-fought campaign by the Sloboda Zvierat (Animal Freedom) association, a law came into effect last September in Slovakia prohibiting the use of wild animals in circus performances.

However, while supporters have cheered the law, there is no legislation governing the responsibilities of circuses and private owners of these animals when they retire from shows.

This is where places like Malkia Park come in.

Living in a natural environment

The sanctuary is named after Malkia – which translates from Swahili as ‘Queen’ – the first lioness Kollár rescued.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Triple coalition PS/Spolu/Za Ľudí? Not for now

Kiska said no, but there are talks about a broader pre-election coalition across opposition parties.

Left to right: Igor Matovič (OĽaNO), Ondrej Dostál (OKS), Richard Sulík (SaS), Miroslav Beblavý (Spolu), Michal Truban (PS), Andrej Kiska (Za Ľudí), Alojz Hlina (KDH)

Judge steps down for exchanging messages with Kočner

Several people have resigned after appearing in the Threema communication so far.

David Lindtner

Prosecutor brings charges against Kočner in the Kuciak murder case

Apart from Kočner, three other people were formally charged.

Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová were commemorated in Bratislava on August 26.

Blog: AI and Slovakia: Labor costs to become less important

Which policy challenges and risks will AI bring to converging economies, such as Slovakia? Vladimir Zlacký, Founder of LookingEast.eu, offers an interesting answer.