Earlier this week we remembered the anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death. Today, we remember his tiger.
The pop music trendsetter’s tiger named Thriller died at a wildlife preserve in Los Angeles run by Tippi Hedren, aka Melanie Daniels of The Birds. Thriller’s cause of death was lung cancer.
She was a female Bengal tiger and a beauty. At the time of her death she weighed in at the 375 pounds. An autopsy was performed, which confirmed the cause death to be cancer.
Thriller and her brother Sabu ended up at the preserve when Jackson left his Netherland Ranch. Hedren took on responsibility of caring for all the animals.
"She was about a tough a tiger as we have known here. She ruled over Sabu," she said. "She was the queen. We were fascinated by her dominance."
Sabu remains in good health.
Though Jackson’s love for animals equally rivaled his love for defying gravity via moonwalk, Hedren said that Michael never called to check on the animals once they arrived at the compound.
He did, however, donate some money to their care. In 2011, he auctioned off his jacket from the “Thriller” music video in order to support the animals. Other than that, Jackson more or less forgot about them.
Tippi founded Shambala in 1983 in order to support abandoned exotic cats. In addition to tigers, the preserve houses cougars, leopard, bobcats, and lions, among other species.
The organization’s mission is to “is to educate the public about the dangers of private ownership of exotic animals.”
R.I.P. Thiller. Hopefully, somewhere in the universe, you are reuniting with your long lost owner!