Earlier this year, a new law went into effect in Bulgaria making it illegal to use animals in circuses. With that, Varvara was no longer forced to perform, but her conditions were far from improved. The tiger's owner was ill-equipped to provide her with new accommodations, so she continued to languish in her cold, concrete cage. In that dark place, however, rays of hope would eventually shine through.
Rescuers from the international animal welfare group Four Paws were alerted to Varvara's sad plight, and they stepped in to help. They were able to secure the tigress's release, give her a much-needed medical checkup and coordinate her transfer to a more comfortable home.