MIAMI (FOX 11 / AP) - A circus tiger from Peru is heading to his new home at a rescue facility in Tampa.
In 2011, Peru banned the use of wild animals in circuses, but instead of turning their tigers over to rescuers, Hoover’s owners went into hiding.
Animal Defenders International (ADI), a group that's rescued more than 100 wild animals worldwide, spent eight months tracking down Hoover’s owners.
When they finally caught up to them, Hoover was alive but sick and emaciated.
"Hoover's story is one of the saddest stories of the whole rescue because originally that circus had 12 tigers and he's the only survivor," Jan Creamer with Animal Defenders International told FOX 13 in Tampa.
In ADI's care, Hoover slowly recovered, putting on nearly 50 pounds in the last year while his rescuers worked to find him a permanent home.
The 12-year-old tiger will enjoy a very spacious enclosure with lots of shady trees and grass. He'll also have access to a spring-fed lake for swimming.
Hoover's habitat also features a large platform, several dens and plenty of toys.
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