Sad News

21 April, 2017

It is with the deepest regret that we announce the sad passing of Tamair, our largest tiger.

Tamair had lived at The Big Cat Sanctuary for over a decade, in that time, what an enormous impact he made on people’s hearts.

In his prime he weighed in at well over 210 kilos and was notorious for having a bit of an attitude. He wowed guests and team members alike – demonstrating on a regular basis just how awe inspiring and formidable a fully-grown tiger truly is; especially when in close proximity to their food.

As the years passed Tamair mellowed, and developed a much gentler nature.  He became the most wonderful ‘gentle giant’ and was often seen interacting and bonding with younger cats, seemingly taking them under his wing. Originally with a young lioness called Masindi and later with neighbouring Sumatran tigress Puna’s two litters of young tigers, earning him the nick name ‘uncle’ Tamair. If these boisterous juveniles pushed their luck too much they’d be hastily reminded who was in charge; a great example being when cub Toba thought pulling Tamair’s tail from underneath the mesh and to play with it was a good idea, there would be a severe reprimand and reminder of what was acceptable behaviour.

Tamair grew to truly enjoy the simple things in life and taking life in the slow lane; lying out on the grass on a sunny day and a good meal was all this old boy needed to be content. He inspired more gasps and “wow’s” than any cat ever to have lived here with his monumental size, his gentle face and his comical murmurings; many have stood in awe and admired him.

Tamair had been receiving treatment for suspected spinal and hip arthritis for some time; his condition continued to deteriorate and the sad decision was made to put him to sleep.

Yesterday, Thursday 20 April 2017, our vet Dr John Lewis attended and supported our wonderful, gentle giant to rest in peace.

As one of the cats residing at The Big Cat Sanctuary from the very earliest days, Tamair will be sorely missed. In many ways, he has been one of the building blocks of our organisation and will always be remembered as a very important part of it.

Tamair was a truly magnificent cat and a wonderful ambassador for tigers – his fabulous presence and awesome personality will never be forgotten.