Thrilller Michael Jackson’s Tiger dies
Michael Jackson’s tiger; 13 year old Thriller has died in Tippi Hedren’s wildlife preserve in California. The 375 pound tiger died of lung cancer.
Thriller belonged to Michael when he lived at his Neverland ranch. A necropsy has been performed and the dead animal has been cremated. As it their custom when animals die, staff workers will hold a private service when the ashes are buried in a section of the preserve set aside for animals that die there.
“Thriller was a real piece of work, one gutsy girl. She ruled Sabu’s life. It was humorous to watch the whole relationship. She did things to him that male tigers would normally never allow. She would steal food from him. That’s unheard of. She ruled the roost, was very independent and tough,” Hedren said. “Unlike many of the animals at the preserve, Thriller and Sabu arrived at the compound in excellent health physically and emotionally” Hedren continued.
Thriller had a brother Sabu and they were both born on Nov. 20, 1998, and lived with Jackson until May 4, 2006, according to Tippi Hedren. When the pop star eventually left Neverland, Hedren was asked by Michael’s veterinarian to take Thriller and Sabu at her Shambala Preserve in Acton, about 50 miles north of Los Angeles.
There are 15 tigers at the compound, but Sabu is now alone in the habitat he shared with Thriller and he’ll probably stay that way, Hedren said. “Tigers are loners in the wild. Because Thriller was a famous tiger, she was very popular with visitors and media. She didn’t care. She was not a diva and didn’t mug for the camera. We all loved her for it.” She said.
Thriller’s death also hit the humans in the preserve hard too according to Hedren. “It’s very hard for all of us when these animals go away. Fortunately for Sabu and Thriller, they came in healthy and content. They had no problem with being in quarantine for 30 days. They adjusted so well.”
Most of the animals at Shambala, which requires $75,000 in donations every month to stay open, have trouble adjusting because they have such abusive pasts. Despite Michael Jackson’s relentless talk of his love of animals he never called to check on the tigers and he never sent any money to help pay for their care.