Born on 17th May 1998, Roque was only a few days old when he was taken from his mother and put on sale in a Spanish pet-shop. Terrified and alone, the bewildered cub paced his small glass tank, crying.
Born Free is very worried about the exotic pet trade, because wild animals belong in the wild and never make good pets. It is very difficult to properly care for a wild animal and it could become dangerous.
Many tiger cubs end up alone in tiny cages, are sold on to circuses or zoos, or worse.
Born Free was determined to expose the terrible exotic pet-trade and with the Sunday Mirror newspaper organised an undercover operation.
Roque was rescued and brought to a UK-based big cat sanctuary, home to several Born Free big cats. Here he quickly grew, and although his keepers tried to teach him to ‘play gently’, some of his games left them with scratches and scars. It is horrifying to think what might have happened to this gorgeous young tiger and the injuries he might have caused if Born Free hadn’t rescued him.