Local celebrity tiger Jasmine dies at 19
Zoo to You of Paso Robles lost a beloved friend this week when Jasmine, an Indochinese tiger, died Wednesday at 19 years old.
Jasmine has been seen by millions of children throughout the California school system in thousands of school assemblies, since she was first rescued by zoo director David Jackson.
She was a celebrity animal who made numerous television appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Letterman, Ellen, Rosie, Larry King with Jack Hanna and Julie Scardina.
“She has been a uniquely well trained tiger – gentle, kind and always even tempered,” says zoo volunteer Tom Marcotte. Jasmine Was Zoo to You’s first big animal,” he says. “She lived with the Jacksons and toured with them and always was the show-stopper!”
She lived an extraordinary life as an ambassador with Zoo to You, Marcotte says. Having a tiger live to almost 20 years of age is very unusual, he said. She was extremely healthy until recently the last few months of her life, he said. “Not many tigers live to this age, it is extremely rare that they live to 20, and almost never so well tempered at such an aged stage. It is comparable to centenarian being free of debilitating illness right up until her 100th birthday.”
Jackson rescued Jasmine when she was just three weeks-old and living in a Seattle zoo that bred tigers illegally.
Visitors can still take tours at the zoo in Paso Robles on the weekends and find out more online at www.zootoyou.com.