Goodbye to Jasmine
It breaks my heart to say that Jasmine, beautiful Bengal tiger at EFBC-FCC, is no longer with us. She died from a tumor two days ago at the age of 13 (or thereabouts) and will be sorely missed by staff, volunteers and visitors alike.
Jasmine was the first tiger I ever pet, the first to give me a slobbery tiger kiss, the first I ever heard give that mournful wookie moan when she wanted attention. I went in Jasmine's enclosure a couple of times to clean while she was out and about; to be that close to such a magnificent animal was both frightening and amazing.
Jasmine had a war going with the log in her enclosure. She'd be happily playing with her ball and would suddenly charge the log with a threatening snarl (almost a bark, really), attacking it with claws and teeth. Then she'd run away, circle the log and attack it again. I'm not sure what that log was saying to her, but it had to be pretty inflammatory...
Jas lover her pool in hot weather. She'd immerse herself in it so that all that was left above water leve were her ears, eyes and nose, like a great furry crocodile. She loved to explode out of the water and splatter anyone who came close enough to the chainlink fence.
When Caesar (my son) was moved in next to her, Jasmine was not pleased and was very vocal about her displeasure. She and Caesar each had a smaller enclosure that opened onto the same large 'field' area. When Caesar was in the field, Jas was locked into her private quarters and vice versa. When Jas was locked in, she'd pitch a fit whenever Caesar came near her neck of the woods. We used to accuse Caesar of deliberately teasing poor Jasmine. He was very much like a little boy with a crush and no way to express it except to torment her. The tiger equivalent of pulling her pig tails. I felt sorry for Jas until I saw her happily taunting Caesar in his enclosure when she had the run of the field.
They were never let into the field at the same time, but relations improved to the point where I wonder how Caesar is gonna be now that the object of his pig-tail pulling affections is gone.
Bye, Jazzy...you were a very special girl and enriched my life more than I can say.
(These pictures were all taken by Nancy Vandermey. I have some personal ones that I'll be posting later; I have to scan them first. )