Tigress Dehli at FELIDA


A life full of movements


The beautiful tigress Dehli is the oldest big cat at FELIDA and already lived at the sanctuary before FOUR PAWS took over the facility in 2014.

Note: Any advertisements that may appear during the viewing of this video are unrelated to FOUR PAWS. We assume no liability for this content.

From Germany to the Netherlands

The Bengal tigress Dehli was born in 2001 in a necessitous German zoo, together with her brother Rhadja. Here they were suckled not by their mother, but by a dog! When the owner stopped feeding the animals in 2010, a German animal welfare organisation came to the rescue and made sure Dehli and Rhadja were brought to Nijeberkoop in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, their lives didn’t improve much at first: the Bengal tigers lived in a very small enclosure without any enrichment.

FOUR PAWS first met the animals in late 2013, just before we took over the facility. The two relatively small and elegant tigers were hard to see, as they were locked in a small and barren cage in between thirteen other tigers, eight lions, a jaguar, a leopard and a Bengal cat. They were shy, stressed and did not receive any form of enrichment.

Positive turn 

When we took over the rescue center and named it FELIDA, their lives finally took a positive turn. How we saw them flourish over the years! They were provided with special care, proper food, medical treatments, enrichment, training and more space than they had ever known before. Their age was already advanced, but they enjoyed their lives fully.

Farewell Rhadja

In December 2019, Rhadja passed away at the age of 18 due to kidney failure. The first weeks after Rhadja's death, we noticed that Dehli was very restless. She really missed her big brother and buddy. She was looking for him everywhere and was very upset, Dehli clearly needed time to adjust and heal.

But thanks to intensive and specialised care for a few months in a row, Dehli was able to make an impressive recovery. We also made some very important adaptions to her enclosure so she is no longer surrounded by the lions: as she is physically not as strong anymore as she used to be, the presence of the lions near her became too much without Rhadja by her side. We also made her some new platforms and hiding places which she greatly enjoys. Thanks to these adaptions and the special care, Dehli feels much calmer and confident again. 

Update August 2021: 20 years old!

Hip hip hooray, Dehli is 20 years old! What an impressive age. Watch the video to see how she enjoyed her special birthday enrichment.

Note: Any advertisements that may appear during the viewing of this video are unrelated to FOUR PAWS. We assume no liability for this content.

Update October 2021: new neighbors

Since the beginning of this month she is no longer the only lady at our FELIDA Big Cat Sanctuary, but she is still our one and only Queen! She is reacting very well to the 7 new lions from Romania. In all her years at FELIDA, she has seen quite some big cats and is not so easily impressed anymore. So although she had to get used to the funny sounds and strange smells of these new neighbours, she soon picked up the daily business again!
A few weeks later she got a new neighbour: tiger Tsezar. Although the two tigers are friendly towards each other, they have not a lot of contact. However when they want to, they can! 

Update February 2022: elderly care

Despite her very advanced age and the accompanying age-related ailments, we are satisfied to see how she is still doing. Because she has less and less the need to go outside, we have recently moved her to our ‘special care unit’ where she has an even more comfortable and heated indoor enclosure than she already had. And if she wants to, she can decide herself to go outside and get a breath of fresh air. 
To stimulate her mental health we still do positive reinforcement trainings with her, which this clever lady very much enjoys. It truly is amazing to take care of such a special tigress, and to give her the best days possible.

Update April 2022: Forever in our hearts

Our beautiful sweet Dehli, our queen of FELIDA, is no more. We are sad to announce that we had to say farewell to this very special tigress.

For the past two years, we have provided Dehli with customised 'elderly care'. And as such, we saw that, despite her old age ailments, she still enjoyed life to the fullest. However, in recent weeks, Dehli's health deteriorated. She lost more and more muscle mass, became thin, had a decreased appetite and her energy level went down. We also saw her chronic kidney disease on the rise. In the past few days, we noticed a drastic change in her behaviour. She clearly was not feeling well and lacked the vitality that normally characterised her. To spare her from further suffering, we had to provide her with the last deed of good care one last time and let her go at the beautiful age of over 20.5 years.

We are grateful for how much we could do for Dehli in the past years. We will miss her terribly, and we know you will do too. Not only was she the animal longest with us at FELIDA, she simply was one in a million.

Farewell dear, dear Dehli. We will never forget you.


  • Born in Germany on August 30, 2001
  • A Bengal tiger
  • Can be recognised by her short tail
  • Sweet to her caretakers, but also stubborn
  • “Chufs” to people and animals she likes
  • Very old and not so active anymore - prefers to lie down indoors

Share now