FELIDA Big Cat Centre is one of several wild animal projects from the international animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS International. FELIDA is located in Nijeberkoop, a small village in the Northern part of the Netherlands and takes care of big cats that were abused, neglected or discarded and were forced to live under poor conditions in private captivity, circuses and zoos. 

Tiger Rhadja in FELIDA Big Cat Centre.
© FOUR PAWS | Jeanine Noordermeer

Development of the centre

FOUR PAWS officially got involved with the big cat centre in Nijeberkoop at the end of 2013 and changed its name into FELIDA in 2014. Since then a lot has happened: Several animals have been brought to LIONSROCK, our big cat sanctuary in South Africa. As a result, more space became available for the animals staying behind. Their enclosures were enlarged, providing them with more space to move and play with their enrichment.


Despite the limited space at the location and its old facilities, FELIDA was able to develop into a 'special care' centre for big cats with physical or mental traumas. As a result, in 2017 two tigers with war traumas from Syria were brought to FELIDA and in 2018 they were followed by three lions from Bulgaria with severe health problems as a result of inbreeding and insufficient care. 


The current enclosures at FELIDA are old and too small to comply to our own quality standards for a sanctuary like LIONSROCK in South Africa. That is why we are looking into possibilities for renovation at the current location with the goal to maintain and further develop the 'special care' role. We are also open to possibilities at a new and larger location, where we would be able to do even more for more animals.

Lion Ivan-Asen was rescued from Bulgaria and improved a lot in FELIDA.
© FOUR PAWS | Jeanine Noordermeer

Animal welfare first

Not only the size of the enclosures is an important topic for the FOUR PAWS quality standards. Other topics are animal welfare, health, animal-human relation, food, safety, hygiene, transport and research. Wild animals do not belong in captivity, but the big cats that we rescue from poor conditions cannot go back to the wild. 


Therefore, we aim for a solution where the animals can live a species-appropriate life. That means that they can show their natural behaviour, do not suffer from hunger or thirst and are free from pain, fear, stress and other discomforts. Animal welfare is our highest priority!



Social Media