Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Tiger arrives at Isle of Wight Zoo after two-year plight

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Media captionSimi's plight was described as a "bureaucratic log jam" by MP Andrew Turner

A former circus tiger which waited two years to be imported to the Isle of Wight Zoo has arrived on the island.

Simi's plight was described as a "bureaucratic log jam" by MP Andrew Turner at Prime Minister's Questions in September.

The eight-year-old female had been in Belgium awaiting transportation after being seized in Germany on welfare grounds.

A spokeswoman for the zoo said she would have a "lifelong home" there.

The animal was seized two years ago and held in isolation at an animal welfare centre in Belgium.

Image caption A spokeswoman for the zoo said Simi would have a "lifelong home" there
Image copyright Isle of Wight Zoo
Image caption The tiger had been in an animal welfare centre in Belgium for two years

The zoo carried out negotiations with the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for a rabies waiver to allow the animal to be imported into the UK.

A spokeswoman for the Animal and Plant Health Agency had said quarantine waivers were "strictly controlled and only issued if certain criteria can be met by the premises of origin and destination".

Watch Simi's journey on Inside Out on 25 January at 19:30 on BBC One in the South or on BBC iPlayer.

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