Rescued tiger cub ‘Himmel’ dies after medical procedure

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SAN DIEGO – Himmel, a declawed tiger cub rescued after it was found wandering around Hemet last summer, died during a medical procedure, an Alpine animal sanctuary spokeswoman announced Tuesday.

The 6-month-old Bengla-Siberian tiger had a veterinary procedure last week to be neutered and repair his hernia. After surgery the cub suffered respiratory failure and collapsed, Lions, Tigers and Bears spokeswoman Bobbi Brink said. He did not recover.

Himmel, the tiger cub (Lions, Tigers and Bears)

Himmel, the tiger cub (Lions, Tigers and Bears)

“The most likely cause of the problem was a severe allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, which occurred in response to one of the injections Himmel was given at the end of his surgery. This is the most serious type of allergic reaction and is often fatal,” lead veterinarian at Lions, Tigers & Bears, Dr. Jane Meier said. “It is the same kind of reaction cause by peanut allergies in people and can happen so quickly and severely that even aggressive treatment is ineffective.”

Himmel was found roaming the streets of Hemet, California in early September 2015. He was anonymously turned into an animal shelter, when California Department of Fish & Wildlife stepped in and asked LTB to provide refuge to the cub.

The tiger cub was named after the late Larry Himmel, a CBS 8 newscaster.

“Himmel’s passing is not only a blow to our sanctuary team, but one of the tragic consequences that stem from the indiscriminate captive breeding of exotic animals. With no family history to reference, it is hard to pinpoint an animal like Himmel’s underlying issues.”


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  • ron sterling

    Incompetent vet needs to be fired. No excuses, this incompetent fool is a menace!!! WE WANT THE NAME OF THIS VET!!!

  • Zuzana Kukol

    Instead of ASSuming why the poor cub died and presenting guesses, how about doing a real necropsy and present facts for a change? Convoluted, unclear, assumptive death explanations tend to increase suspicions as to what really happened. Just saying.
    BTW, LTB didn’t rescue him; he already had a great, loving, safe home at Forever Wild Exotic Animal sanctuary in Phelan, CA, who WANTED to keep him. It is still questionable why the cub was taken (NOT rescued) from Phelan sanctuary and sent to Alpine sanctuary where it died???

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