Tiger Takes Her First Unchained Steps as a Free Animal

A beautiful tiger named Susu, who spent her entire life in chains at the now defunct, privately-owned Phuket Zoo, took her first steps as a free feline at the sanctuary run by the Wildlife Friends Foundation in Phetchaburi, Thailand. While Susu’s first steps were tentative, she quickly realized she could act like a tiger. She hid in the grass and had a really amazing scratching session with a tree.

For an animal who has probably never walked on grass before, she took to her new, wild space like a duck to water. This is what it is all about for us! Trying to give rescued animals a new lease of life, no matter how old, or their background.

Tiger Unchained Steps

Susu was part of a much larger multi-part rescue in May and June 2022 involving other tigers, bears, and other animals who lived in appalling conditions and were forced to perform for tourists daily. This was the biggest tiger rescue in Thai history.

Archive footage of the zoo shows the tigers pacing frantically in circles while kept on very short chains, so that tourists could pose with them for photos. When not being forced to interact with tourists, the tigers were held in barren concrete cages.  …

The sanctuary seeks to educate the public about tigers, renew their populations, and give rescued animals a second chance at a good life.

That’s why we’ve opened the Tiger Rescue Centre at WFFT, where we can rescue and rehabilitate captive tigers, and offer a forever home to those who cannot safely be returned to the wild. As Asia’s biggest tiger sanctuary run by an NGO, the tigers can live freely in over seventeen acres of near-natural habitat. The centre also helps our work to raise awareness of wildlife conservation and animal exploitation.

This is the life that Susu was living before her rescue.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.