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White tiger coming to Abilene Zoo
By Loretta Fulton
Special to the Reporter-News
Thursday, January 22, 2009
A rare, exotic white tiger soon will be on permanent display at the Abilene Zoo.
Havar, an 8-year-old male Bengal tiger, is expected to be moved to the zoo in late February and will be on display within a few days after his arrival, said Bill Baker, zoo director.
The tiger was donated by the Jungala Animal Habitat at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Fla. Baker said the facility had a surplus of tigers, with more than a dozen on site.
“They agreed this would be a good home for him,” Baker said.
The 325-pound tiger will live in a habitat formerly occupied by a hyena. Baker said the zoo is phasing out its hyena display.
The tiger will provide an excellent means for educating the public about tiger habitats, Baker said. Plus, he is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
“He has a wonderful personality,” Baker said. “He will definitely be one of the capital animals at our zoo.”
Busch Gardens is one of the finest animal facilities in the country, Baker said, and he expressed appreciation for the donation. The local zoo had tiger cubs years ago, Baker said, but none recently.
Tigers live 18 to 20 years, so Havar should be entertaining zoo guests for years to come.