Jellybean came to Carolina Tiger Rescue in 1997, after being bred to produce white tigers for a zoo. He was considered a “surplus” white tiger because he wasn’t “show quality.” Jellybean was one of the most iconic tigers at Carolina Tiger. His popularity became the perfect platform to discuss the pitfalls of breeding for specific color variations. His social personality helped people care about him and, in turn, realize how different his life could have been.
June 19th, 2015
For many weeks, the animal care staff had been keeping a close eye on Jellybean. He had not been acting like he felt very well and, at times, he had not been excited about eating.
Last week, he had a couple of days that caused us great concern, but in typical Jellybean fashion, he rebounded and did well until yesterday.
Yesterday, when staff and interns were doing rounds, we noticed that he wasn’t moving around like normal. Upon consulting with Dr. Lassiter, we decided that we would anesthetize him, do blood work, and perform an ultrasound. His blood work looked pretty good for a tiger his age (he was almost 18 years old). Unfortunately, the ultrasound showed that he had left side heart failure. Due the severity of the failure, his quality of life was greatly suffering and we made the decision to euthanize. Upon necropsy, we also found evidence of chronic kidney disease.
We are all saddened when we lose any of our animals. Those losses are made that much more painful when it is shared with so many others. Though they may never have met him, Jellybean touched many people. So many guests come out and ask if they will get to see Jelly. I know that our loss will be shared by many.