| 12.1°C Dublin

Jacko's pet tiger Thriller dies at 13

THRILLER, a tiger that belonged to Michael Jackson when the entertainer lived at his Neverland ranch, has died of lung cancer at actress Tippi Hedren's wildlife preserve in California. Staff workers will hold a private service when the ashes are buried.

Thriller, who was 13 and weighed 375lb, and her brother Sabu were born on November 20, 1998, and lived with Jackson until May 4, 2006. When Jackson left Neverland for good, his veterinarian asked Hedren to take the cats at her Shambala Preserve in Acton, 50 miles north of Los Angeles.

Other Neverland animals, including giraffes, flamingos, orangutans, elephants and dozens of reptiles, were sent to other sanctuaries.

Jackson, who died in 2009, often talked about his love of animals, but never called to check on the tigers and never sent any money to help pay for their care.

A year after the tigers arrived, Hedren said staff sent a package of photos of Sabu and Thriller and other memorabilia to Jackson's children, "but we never heard a word back. I just think it's odd."