FIVE tigers who have spent years being forced to perform in a Spanish travelling circus will soon be making their way to the Isle of Wight Zoo to find sanctuary and expert care.

The three female and two male tigers — Natasha, Zoppa, Antonella, Girona and Mondo — were given up by the circus amid the growing public backlash around performing animals.

They were taken in by Spain’s AAP Foundation which quarantines and rehabilitates circus animals but as space and resources are required for ongoing rescue efforts, the Isle of Wight Zoo has stepped in to provide their forever home.

As part of The Wildheart Trust, the zoo provides the accommodation and care element of the charity’s work with big cats and exotic animals — supporting rescue projects and raising awareness of the plight of animals who become victims of the circus and pet trade.

Trust founder, Charlotte Corney, said: “The conditions endured by circus animals can be horrific.

"Things you can’t believe are still happening in this so-called enlightened age and while we continue to campaign and pursue an end to such cruelty, we know the animals we rescue will have a happy retirement.”

Charlotte and her partner, Wildlife TV presenter Chris Packham, recently visited the tigers in Spain to make plans for their journey to the zoo later this month.

Meanwhile, the team on the Island are busy with constructing new facilities to enable the zoo to accommodate the new tigers as well as mounting a major fundraising campaign to support this and future rescue work.

Anyone concerned about the plight of circus animals and wishing to help can donate at