The Isle of Wight Zoo is mourning the loss of beloved tiger, Simi.
A popular figure at the Sandown-based zoo, Simi arrived on the Island in 2016 – and was even mentioned in the House of Commons, shortly before she arrived.
Posting online, the Isle of Wight Zoo wrote:
“It is with great sadness that we must report that our beautiful tigress Simi passed away last week after a short illness related to injuries sustained in her previous life as a Circus performer.
“Simi arrived on the Island in January 2016. She was originally confiscated near Hamburg in Germany on animal welfare grounds and our team first encountered her at a rescue centre in Belgium.
“Getting her to the Island was not straightforward and Simi had a brief window of fame when a question regarding permissions for her rescue was brought up in The House of Commons.
“With the help of the Government we were finally granted permission to transport her from Belgium to the Zoo. She seemed to know that she was heading for a rosier future as she slept throughout the entire journey and upon her arrival soon developed a trusting relationship with the staff. This was remarkable after the way she had been treated by humans previously.
“Simi had a recurring problem with her back paw, which the keepers, working tirelessly with her, finally overcame, training her to present her foot every day for topical treatment.
“Whilst we were able to treat these superficial wounds, unfortunately Simi had more severe underlying problems associated with the way she was treated in the past, which finally took their toll.
“We will miss this stunningly beautiful cat who brightened our lives every day. Our dear Simi. RIP.”
Deputy Animal Manager, Carolyn Lorek, said:
“Simi was a feisty and highly intelligent lady who relished her training. She loved to run, chase and swim in her pool – always diving in headfirst.”