The Telegraph reported last Sunday that Tango, Britain’s oldest tiger, passed away at the age of 22 at Woodside Wildlife Park in Lincolnshire, where he’s lived since his rescue from a circus in 2014.
Before he was sold to the circus, Tango was one of seven tigers to appear in the iconic Put a tiger in your tank advertising campaign created by Esso.
“It is with great sadness that we must announce the passing away of Tango the tiger,” Woodside Wildlife Park said in a statement.
“Tango was Britain’s oldest tiger at the age of 22 and has been at Woodside for a happy, peaceful two-and-a half-year retirement following his rescue from a European circus.”
Tango and his mate, Julia, who was eight years old at the time, were on the verge of being put down in Belgium in 2014, before Woodside’s Neil Mumby was contacted by a wildlife charity, telling him of their imminent destruction.
Woodside’s subsequent campaign to bring Tango and Julia back to Britain ended up taking more than six months and costing £250,000.
“We’ve got the Belgian government, the French government and the British government all involved,” Mr. Mumby said at the time. “Trying to get all of the government departments to talk to each other can sometimes cause hiccups.”
Julia remains at the park.
The Put a tiger in your tank campaign was first launched in 1959, and went on to become one of the most famous campaigns in advertising history. Its introduction followed the end of rationing after the Second World War. Live tigers were first used in its advertisements beginning in the 1980s.