Recently Departed - Conservators Center

Our Recently Departed Animals

2018

Andreka Jungle Cat

We are saddened to announce the passing of Andreka Jungle Cat on Dec 3, 2018.

He was a muscular, masculine, macho kind of cat. He arrived at the Center in 2011 with his then-mate, Ezebert, after living in Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Missouri. In 2016, he was moved to a “bachelor pad” away from Ezebert to accommodate some age-related health issues. He seemed to enjoy the single life and could frequently be heard expressing the typical jungle cat “WOW” vocalization, especially in harmony with the lions’ oofing. He never cared much for human attention or scent enrichment, but was always excited to be provided with a tasty treat. We will miss this handsome guy very much and are very thankful for the time we had with him.


Calvin Lion

We are heartbroken to announce the passing of Calvin the lion on Nov. 10, 2018.

Calvin lived a full, healthy life with us for his entire 14 years. Born at the park in 2004, Calvin was named for the main character in the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. When he tasted food he did not like as a young cub, our Calvin made facial expressions remarkably similar to ones that the comic strip Calvin made when he was confronted with unpalatable foods like spinach.

While he often chose to engage in the company of some special humans, Calvin was extremely focused on the big cat family he lived with every day. Calvin was the low-key but effective leader of our unusual Mixed Pride of lions and tigers, including two spunky lionesses, Savik and Katrina, and his pride-mate, Wic the tiger. His mother still resides at the park, as do his siblings.

Calvin’s blonde mane suggested that he may have had relatively low testosterone levels, but that did not inhibit him from being a gently assertive and effective leader. He led his group with a firm set of expectations, and required good manners from his pride at all times. They each knew they must pay polite homage to him every time they passed nearby by tucking their chins and rubbing heads with him, even if it meant waking him up. On days when the cats felt enthusiastically affectionate, the sound of their heads clunking together was audible from a considerable distance.

It was Calvin who first attempted to rescue Wic tiger and his siblings from their swimming pool when he was convinced the young cubs would all drown. After he understood that for some reason the tigers wanted to remain in the pool, he established some ground rules that abolished the practice of swimming in cool water and then flopping down in the midst of the sunbathing lion pride.

Calvin was always the peacekeeper. He broke up fusses and banished troublemakers away from the others in a timeout when they misbehaved. He ensured that the ladies did not spend too much time admiring Hansen next door.

Calvin's unexpected loss is truly saddening. This community is one of strength and, while we cannot understand the mysterious ways of nature, we can comfort each other during times like these and be thankful that we had the opportunity to share our lives with this amazing lion.


Freya Tiger

We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our resident tiger princess, Freya, on October 18, 2018.

She was born here at the Center, along with three siblings, on August 28th, 2004. Her mother arrived pregnant as part of a placement of big cats that had been confiscated from an unfit facility in Ohio. From the beginning, Freya was the most vocal and most playful tiger of the four. She was the first to leave the birthing den at only a few days old.

While she was still quite young, she and her brother Wic were introduced to a litter of lions - Calvin, Matthai, Katrina, and Savik - Matthai moved on to his own pride but the five of them lived together for about 10 years. Unlike Wic, who still lives in Mixed Pride, Freya was a tiger through-and-through, and didn’t like the hierarchical structure that is natural to lions.

She was moved to an enclosure all to herself, and she flourished in her independence. She could often be seen playing through the fence with her next door neighbors, Ra, Kiara, Kira, and Arthur. She diligently patrolled her territory and greeted visitors and enrichment with excitement and a sweet desire for attention.

In April of 2018, she began experiencing health issues which continued to decline over the next few months. She exhibited neurological symptoms that caused her to easily lose her balance and prevented her from enjoying the enrichment that once excited her. Our animal care staff made a great effort to adapt her habitat to suit her new needs. Her platforms were lowered for easier access, she was given a set of steps to more comfortably reach her favorite hammock, enrichment was placed in such a way that it still challenged her without frustrating her, and she was continuously monitored for any signs of discomfort.

Her health continued to decline rapidly as summer changed to fall, and eventually her quality of life reached a point where our animal care team had to make a very tough decision. She always prized her ability to be fierce. She had always been athletic and strong and playful, and when that was taken away from her by this illness, she seemed to lack the fierce joy that made her who she was.

The decision was not made lightly, and was the product of constant monitoring and daily evaluations. She was special to all of us, and the Center will not be the same without her. She touched many lives and introduced so many people to her species. We know that the memories she helped create will continue on for many years, and we all take comfort in that.


2017