EXPIRED: 11/19/09 – Isabella, 17, was a rare white tiger who was killed by her neighbors, a pair of lions named Sultan, 14, and Elsa, 11. The younger pair managed to lift a trap door separating their enclosures at the Liberec Zoo in the Czech Republic, enter and slaughter the elder.
The lions and the white tigers take turns using the open-air enclosures at the zoo and keepers believe that Sultan and Elsa wanted to get back to the pen they had been in the day before. It was Isabella’s turn and they were having none of it. When they got in and saw the white intruder, their instinct told them she was invading their territory. The pair pounced on her and killed her. Zoo workers heard the screams but could do nothing.
Although the zoo has rotated the cats back-to-back successfully for 12 years, they’ll now cease the practice. Isabella arrived at the zoo in ’94 when she was just 2 years old with her brother, Columbus. They were sent as a gift from the Eskilstuna Zoo in Sweden. When she was 10 she gave birth to triplets, Artemis, Afrodita and Achilles. Artemis, the daughter of Isabella, is still in the zoo along with another two white lions – Paris and Surya Bara.
Isabella was a local icon and dearly loved by the community as can be seen by the turnout for the local hockey team, “The White Tigers.”
White tigers are the result of both parents having a recessive gene for white coloration. They are rare in the wild because they stand out in the jungle, hindering their efforts to catch prey. Only a few dozen white tigers are left in the wild.
No hard feelings, Sultan & Elsa. You’re just being cats. We get it.