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Thriller, a tiger that once belonged to the late King of Pop Michael Jackson, died of lung cancer earlier this month.
Thriller, a 13-year old, 375-pound female Bengal tiger, lived with her brother Sabu at actress and activist Tippi Hedren’s wildlife reserve, the Shambala Preserve, located in Acton, California.
According to the Huffington Post, the tigers were born in 1998 and lived with Jackson at his Neverland ranch until Jackson left Neverland in 2006.
Hedren said that Jackson’s veterinarian asked her to take the pair, and other animals – including elephants, flamingos, and other giraffes – that lived on the ranch were scattered to similar homes around the country.
Hedren had a $79,000 habitat built next to the preserve’s lake to give the tigers more space. She said Wednesday that Thriller passed away on June 11 after living a healthy life.
According to the L.A. Times, Hedren called Thriller and Sabu’s relationship entertaining and unusual. In most tiger relationships, the male dominates the female, but not in this case.
“She was about as tough a tiger as we have known here. She ruled over Sabu,” Hedren said. “She was the queen. We were fascinated by her dominance.”
Monday was the third anniversary of Jackson’s death.
According to the Huffington Post, the Shambala Preserve needs $75,000 in donations every month. Though Jackson clearly had a passion for animals, Hedren said that he didn’t pay the tigers much attention after they arrived at the reserve.
“It always amazed me that Michael never called to see how they were and never made any provisions for them financially,” she said. “It would have been very helpful to have had some sort of financial donation.”