Vet check at FELIDA

Special care

FELIDA provides intensive, specialised care for individual, traumatised big cats with specific needs, to help them overcome their physical and mental traumas, to improve their overall welfare and provide them with the best quality of life.


Depending on the individual needs, special care can means:

  • Providing intensive lifelong care;
  • Rehabilitation and preparation for transfer to other sanctuaries e.g. LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary;
  • Nursery care for cubs;
  • Elderly care;
  • Care for disabled animals;
  • Special treatment plans for mentally; traumatised animals;
  • Care for animals in the last phase of their lives.

Important components of this specialised and intensive care are nutrition, enrichment, training and medical checks.

Lioness Ellie after her release at LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary

Lioness Ellie is released at LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa
after 10 months of rehabilitation at FELIDA.


The big cats at FELIDA are fed with an average of 20 kilo of meat per animal per week. Food includes bone, skin, hair and certain organs. It mainly comes from horses and cows that were not suitable for human consumption. The feeding schedule is adapted to the natural eating habits of the animals in the wild, where they do not catch prey every day and therefore do not eat on a daily basis.


Enrichment is an important tool to promote the natural behaviour of big cats in captivity. Using nutrition, scents and environmental enrichment, we stimulate the animals to play and explore their habitat and new objects. The presentation of new items and smells helps to prevent boredom and improves the overall welfare of the animals. In addition, it gives the traumatised animals more self-confidence which is a very important part of helping them deal with their traumas.


The big cats are trained with the 'positive reinforcement' principle. There are several goals for this training:

  • Building trust between animal and animal caretaker;
  • Stimulating self-confidence and natural behaviours;
  • Preparations for transports;
  • Supporting medical procedures.

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Medical checks

The health of the animals in our sanctuary is monitored on a daily basis by our animal caretakers. Among other things, they observe their physical condition and whether an animal behaves differently - if needed, a veterinarian is consulted. FELIDA cooperates with special wildlife veterinarians from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife (IZW) in Berlin as also with specialists from the University of Utrecht and other Dutch clinics such as AniCura de Tweede Lijn in Wilhelminaoord. As soon as an animal has to be put under anaesthesia for examination, standard procedures include teeth and claws checks.

Vet check of lion Bobby

Vet check of lion Bobby in 2022

Happy lions at LIONSROCK

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