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RIP little Tiger

A message sent to the team Sunday morning with the tragic news that Tiger had lost his fight for life....

Hello everyone, no words to let you know that Tiger passed away a few minutes ago. Kirsty had emailed Heather and I first thing this morning to say that he'd had a bad night – with laboured breathing and refusing to suckle. But, acknowledging that he was a good colour, passing urine and faeces, and moving around, both she and Belinda were up all night giving him oxygen, electrolytes and antibiotics. Sadly, he continued to grow worse, with breathing becoming more shallow, and died quietly just now. 

Understandably they're in pieces, but no question that they did all they could to give our Tiger the best ever chance. The circumstances of his short life are the legacy of a trade that has no conscience – and a shame on every bear farmer in Asia.

Please join me in sending commiserations to all in our amazing Vietnam team – especially Belinda – who has had next to no sleep for over a week. She has raised literally hundreds of young mammals and they could not have been in safer or more caring hands.

RIP little Tiger from a family who loved you. x


The following message from Belinda’s husband, Russel, reduced me to tears - as did the pictures of Tiger's final goodbye. What perfect moon bear crescent he had - and what a tragedy that his strong heart stopped beating beneath it.

It is with a heavy heart, that I send out these final photos of precious little Tiger. It has been mentioned several times already and I'll repeat it once more. This little guy had all the heart and fight of a tiger with the strength of a bear. Anyone who would have had the privilege of meeting him would have been astonished with the strength of his little frame.

We've just come from his funeral and I can confidently say that spirits here have never been lower. Although the Bear workers weren't involved in his direct care, they all visited the window regularly and even the security guards took a keen interest asking every day how he was. As it’s been mentioned before, this little guy had no clue of the buzz going on because of him, but I find it absolutely amazing the way this tiny little creature has affected so many people.

From the beginning of his short life there had been some question as to whether mom should have him, or whether a surrogate should take him on. And now that he has passed it is natural to second guess everything that has happened over the past six days, and ask whether we did the right things. But I can confidently say, after spending the last week at Belinda's side. Even Italia would have been happy with expert care given by Belinda's experienced and gentle hands. Please keep her in your thoughts, as now she is the second mother to lose this cub.

To sum up. This beautiful little bear has lost his fight and left us all broken hearted. Dropped in our hands on the eve of a New Year and challenging even the best animal caregiver. This little guy was a gem that no longer has a sparkle but will be remembered as the fighting "Tiger" that we never got to know. 

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