He was the oldest tiger in England and one of the most famous felines in the world.Two days ago, on September 11, Tango died peacefully at the ripe age of 22 years at the Woodside animal park in Lincolnshire.
The tigerbecame famous in the 1990s after appearing in the petrol group Esso's advertising campaigns, saying to "Put a tiger in your engine".Recently hishealth took a turn for the worst and his caretakers decided that euthanasia would be the best decision to put him to rest. Neil Mumby, the founder of Woodside, told the Daily Mail:
We had a meeting with the head keeper, the vet and myself and we decided that his quality of life had deteriorated and we had to have him unfortunately put to sleep on Saturday morning. He had got to the stage where his arthritis meant he couldn't walk and he couldn't move about.
Tango's story is relatively obscure. After becoming famous in the advertising campaign he was sold to a German circusalong with a female tiger named Julia."I can only guess and wonder what has gone on in his previous life but it wasn't fabulous," adds Neil Mumby. The two felines were gravely neglected in the German circus for many years, until the Belgian and German authorities intervened to save them in 2014, reports the BBC.
It was then that Woodside decided to lend a hand. The team had heard the news of Tango and organised a fund-raiser to fund the transport costs. Their campaign to welcome Tango and Julia was successful and the two tigers escaped their hell to go to England.The famous tiger enjoyed a peaceful and happy retirement at Woodside for two years. Two years of relaxing and being a free tiger alongsideJulia, under the watchful eye of his rescuers.
Julia, who is 10 years Tango's junior, made "a lot of noise" in the 24 hours following her friend's death, according to the local press. She must miss his presence but she has calmed down to a degree. For the moment, the team at Woodside doesn't plan on putting another tiger in Julia's enclosure.The park announced that they will soon be putting up a memorial in honour of Tango.Tigers are a threatened species in 2016. There are many animal rights groups fighting for their survival. You can support the efforts of the WWF by clicking here.