Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE ; Rare Cat That Is Part Tiger and Part Lion Goes on Display 65 Years after She Ruled Belle Vue Zoo

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE ; Rare Cat That Is Part Tiger and Part Lion Goes on Display 65 Years after She Ruled Belle Vue Zoo

Article excerpt

ARARE crossbreed big cat that was once the prize of the pride at Belle Vue Zoo has gone on display at Manchester Museum.

The extremely rare Tigon - born to a tiger father and a lioness mother - was called Maude and was the zoo's biggest draw during the 1940s, pulling in national crowds. So famous was the unusual cross- breed that when she died, her skin was donated to Manchester Museum at the University of Manchester.

Nobody quite knows why, but for 65 years Maude has remained in the storeroom - waiting to be prepared by a taxidermist and added to the museum's extensive natural history collection. Now on show, on the first floor close to another former Belle Vue resident, the Asian elephant Maharajah, Maude is the first tigon to be added to a British museum's collection for around 100 years.

Maude was born in 1932 in Dresden Zoo, Germany, and she and her male sibling Kliou were both brought to Manchester by Belle Vue's former manager Gerald Iles - himself, a scholar of zoology at Manchester University.

The cubs, the offspring of a Manchurian tiger and an African lioness, were incredibly rare but sadly Kliou only lived until he was 10 years old, and Maude died in 1949 - aged around 17. …

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