Thriller, one of the nation's most famous tigers, has passed away at the age of 13 from lung cancer.
The 375-pound animal, owned until 2006 by the late pop singer Michael Jackson, spent her remaining years with her brother, Sabu, at actress Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve in Acton, Calif.
“Thriller was a real piece of work, one gutsy girl. She ruled Sabu’s life. It was humorous to watch the whole relationship. She did things to him that male tigers would normally never allow. She would steal food from him. That’s unheard of. She ruled the roost, was very independent and tough,” Hedren told the Washington Post.
While Jackson was fond of his two tigers, Hedren says he never phoned her to check in on them or offered cash for their care after they left Neverland Ranch. She personally spent more than $75,000 building a habitat for the two big cats. "It would have been very helpful to have had some sort of financial donation," she said.
Last summer, a jacket worn by Jackson during his 1983 music video "Thriller" went under the hammer and sold for $1.8 million, with the proceeds benefiting the Shambala Preserve.
According to Hedren, Thriller's ashes will be spread in a part of the preserve reserved for animals that have passed away. She says Sabu remains in good health.