Olesya Tiger


Olesya Tiger is Rescued from Darkness


Sometimes it takes years to see the fruits of our labor, so when that day comes, it is particularly sweet.  Back on December 27, 2014 a person contacted us saying, “First, I would like to provide you the background detail of this situation.  Russian and Iranian wildlife biologists exchanged 2 Amur Tigers with 2 Persian Leopards in April 2010.  Since Iran’s Caspian Tiger went extinct 70+ years ago, this was simply an act to breed/release wild tigers back into Caspian National Park area.  Currently, their breeding program is canceled.

It also appears that the Persian Leopards are fine in Russia since there is no news from them.  After the exchange, the one male tiger died due to his diet of contaminated donkey meat in Tehran zoo.  Later on Olesya, the female tiger (2 years old then in 2010), was quarantined in Tehran Zoo as a precaution.  However, due to miscommunication, lack of resources and human errors, tragically she still remains in quarantine.  Tragically, it has been 4 years since then.

There is a global petition for this quarantined female Amur Tiger which has been going around and simply got my attention last month.   I started researching to find out that this is a simple case of misunderstanding and lack of communication between their responsible Ministries’ Directors.  They assumed that tigress would die but she was never sick or contaminated to begin with.

Sadly, Olesya is paying the high price of living in a container for 4 years without any sunlight.  She is genetically a valuable animal and should be displayed.

I am assisting Dr. Iman Memarian, the Veterinarian at Eram Tehran Zoo/ Pardisan Wildlife Park, to obtain recommendation letters to perform additional blood work and tests.  If different Veterinarian or organizations such as Big Cat Rescue around the world recommend the blood work and additional tests, the Ministry of Health Director would issue this permit to the zoo.

Test results would confirm her health and clarify any suspicious health issues.  So at least, Olesya would be displayed in an enclosure with sunlight.  As you can see this is a very different situation.  To date, Tehran Zoo has received graciously 2 recommendation letters from European Zoos, not to mention Dr. Memarian’s  whom has made multiple recommendations.

Once the Zoo presents the recommendation letters to Ministry of Health, only then, a permit will be issued to complete the tests including large blood count and titers for common felid viral diseases (FIV/FIP/FeLV/Herpes).

I am only asking for a short Recommendation letter indicating to run blood test.  There is no liability on behalf of the referees.   Please help this sweetheart to get out of that hell-hole!  Could you please point me to someone in your organization who could provide such recommendation letter?

Please call me if you have any questions.  I thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter.”

Sincerely, Name Withheld by Request



In January 2015 Big Cat Rescue’s veterinarian responded saying, “Hello,  this is Dr. Justin Boorstein one of the veterinarians from Big Cat Rescue in Tampa Florida.  I do not know all the details about this particular animal but I can speak on quarantined animals.  There can be false positive results or certain infections can be cleared naturally or via medical treatment.

Routine retesting should be performed to evaluate the overall health status of the quarantined animal.  These tests can help treat/ improve the quality of life of the animal and possibly lift the quarantine.  Would love to help in any way and if any questions or concerns I can be contacted anytime.”

Justin Boorstein DVM


The next day the concerned citizen wrote, “I personally want to thank you Carole for following up on this.  I forwarded the letter to Tehran Zoo’s Vet.  He has total of 4 including yours.  And he has a meeting with the Ministry of Health director this week where he will submit all documents.  I am really excited and will let you the progress.   Thank you again so much.

Sincerely, Name Withheld by Request


On March 4, 2015 the same concerned citizen updated us saying, “I just wanted to give you an update on this sad situation.  Despite all efforts, there is no progress on Olesya’s situation after their first meeting.

All this time, I was waiting to get some good news so that I would email you.  I know a social media friend of mine reached out and sent you a note on Monday.

So basically after all our Facebook conversations, I talked to Dr. Iman Memarian yesterday again asking for her release.  My hope was to somehow convince them to release her.

Obviously, no airline would board her without a “Certificate of Health” which they are not able to issue. Not to mention, that they could not release her by any means, not even to any animal shelter in Iran.

So, I am just praying somehow Tehran Zoo can convince the ministry to get that permission to move forward.  Olesya will remain in that basement for now as the zoo has been fighting the euthanasia order.  Thank you again for your compassion and providing that letter.”

Sincerely, Name Withheld by Request



On August 15, 2017 we unexpectedly heard from the same person who said, “Hello and hope you all are well.  This is just a quick note to thank you all again on behalf of Olesya.  I remembered that I had not sent you final update on her status.

To make the long story short, just a few months after I was trying to help them out by gathering recommendations, Director of Ministry of Health gave them permission to perform routine tests on her.  I think local animal rights activism, veterinarian recommendations and general common sense had paved the road.

Things moved pretty fast after their last meeting.  Blood test results proved that Oleysa was healthy.  Tehran zoo had the permission to move her out of quarantine by then.  So, they moved Olesya into her own enclosure over at the zoo.  Actually, she is one of the stars now.

I truly admire all the hard work and your dedication for making it a better world for all cats.  All other organizations look up to you.  Thank you again for all that you do.”

Sincerely, Name Withheld by Request


Dr Justin Boorstein was so happy that he emailed the concerned citizen immediately from his cell phone saying, “So glad to hear!!!  She looks very happy!  Glad she got a chance because of you  :)”

Photo provided by the concerned citizen showing Olesya enjoying her outdoor life.

Olesya Tiger


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