Rutland man’s bid to rehome Greek tiger is a success

Phevos tiger EMN-140423-095115001
Phevos tiger EMN-140423-095115001
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A tiger that requires rescuing will soon be rehomed after generous donors helped raise most of the funds needed to transport him to a sanctuary in the US.

Uppingham Sports and Books shop manager David Barnes had planned to rescue Phevos from Greece and fly him to San Diego.

But he needed £11,500 for flights and transfer to take the 15-year-old tiger from the zoo in Trikala to his new home in California.

In April, through an article in the Mercury and Times, he had appealed to readers of the newspapers for help and has now raised most the money needed.

Mr Barnes, who has rehomed dozens of exotic animals in the past 20 years, said: “Quite a few people responded and helped with donations.

“Phevos is still in Greece but he is being checked on frequently by a vet friend and so far he is OK. Up to today I have raised just over £10,100 so just £1,400 to go. Whatever I’m short of will go on my credit card.”

Phevos and his mate Athene were rescued from a circus and sent to the zoo in Greece where Mr Barnes had been monitoring them. But Athene became ill and died in November.

Mr Barnes, 62, from Peterborough, used to work for the Animal Welfare Fund in Greece where, he says, animals were well looked after until the country was hit by recession.

He said as soon as the paperwork from Greece and the US are complete, Phevos will be on his way to starting a new life.

Phevos’s enclosure at the San Diego sanctuary will be next to a 16 year old female who Mr Barnes hopes will be company for the new arrival.

Mr Barnes, who has a 23-year-old Greek cat Naomi he calls his “own little tiger,” said he was very grateful to everyone who responded to the appeal and helping with his mission to rehome Phevos.

Mr Barnes can be contacted via or 07968 959367.