Lion Terez at FELIDA

LIon terez


From cub to adult lion

Terez was, together with his brother Masoud, born in September 2017 at the Razgrad Zoo, a zoo in Bulgaria that also functioned as an illegal breeding station for lions. Terez is the result of inbreeding (both his parents and grandparents are siblings) and shortly after he and Masoud were born, they were abandoned by their mother. There was a third cub, but unfortunately he passed away shortly after being born. Terez and his brother Masoud were rescued just in time and arrived after a long journey to FELIDA in February 2018.

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Hand raised

Shortly after Masoud and Terez were abandoned by their mother, they were taken to a veterinary clinic in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. The two little cubs suffered from diarrhea, dehydration and respiratory problems. They were raised by hand to give them a chance at life: successfully! Meanwhile, the FOUR PAWS team started preparations to take them to FELIDA Big Cat Centre.


This was not without a struggle: the Bulgarian authorities did not initially authorise any transport. This led to an international protest: FOUR PAWS started a petition that was signed by supporters across the globe and Bulgarian animal lovers organised various protests on the street. Eventually, we received the green light on February 6, and the then 5-month-old cubs of only 20 kilos each travelled to Nijeberkoop, the Netherlands.

Growing up 

In FELIDA they have undergone many developments and grew into two young adult lions with growing mane and deepening roars. Terez was the bravest of the two from the start. He begins every day with a far-reaching roar, and despite his young age his roar is in no way inferior to the other lions at FELIDA. He loves enrichment – especially melons and pumpkins – and is always in for something new. Although his walking will, due to neurological problems as a result of inbreeding, never earn ‘the beauty price’, he is doing very well.

Farewell, Masoud

Although Terez became stronger over the years, Masoud did not: we saw his neurological problems worsen and his motor skills deteriorating. We therefore brought Masoud to the University of Utrecht for a thorough MRI and CT scan. The results confirmed our fears: Masoud suffered from a very complex, malformed spine which was a congenital defect due to inbreeding. The condition had progressed to a point where it was causing Masoud severe pain and would cause him even more pain while growing further into adulthood. After thorough consultations with the neurological specialists and wildlife veterinarians it became clear that that this condition could not be surgically treated or improved in any other way and that pain medication was not effective any longer. When there is no hope for improvement, preventing suffering is the last part of the care we can provide to the animals we rescued and therefore we had to say our final goodbyes to Masoud in the end of July, 2020. 
The loss of his brother has an impact on Terez and we therefore keep a close eye on him and are giving him extra attention.


  • Born in Bulgaria on September 8th 2017
  • Nephew of and crazy about lion Ivan-Asen
  • The result of inbreeding
  • Brother of Masoud, who passed away in July 2020
  • Has a 'naughty' look
  • Loves pumpkins and melons to play with