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Britain’s oldest tiger and star of famous Esso advert dies of old age

Britain’s oldest tiger and star of famous Esso advert dies of old age

Tango, who was one of several tigers to star in the 1990s advert, passed away aged 22, Woodside Wildlife Park announced.

He had been living at the animal sanctuary in Lincolnshire since 2014 following a £250,000 fundraising effort to rescue him from life with a European circus.

At 22, he was the equivalent of over 100 in human years, and far out lived the average age expectancy of 15.

Tango was rescued from a life in a European circus (Picture: SWNS)

Tango was rescued from a life in a European circus (Picture: SWNS)

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 in the 1990s.

Still image from a classic Esso advert featuring Tango tiger who has now died.  See Masons copy MNTIGER: Britain's oldest tiger, who featured in the iconic Esso fuel adverts, has passed away at the age of 22. Tango was made famous when he was one of seven tigers who featured in Esso's 'put a tiger in your tank' adverts in the 1990s. Since 2014 he has been living at Woodside Wildlife Park in Lincolnshire where he peacefully passed away on Saturday. A statement from the park posted on Facebook said: "It is with great sadness that we must announce the passing away of Tango the tiger.

Still image from a classic Esso advert featuring Tango

“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.

tiger-tango-4

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, and real tigers were first used in the 1980s and 1990s.

Commenting on the park’s statement, Claire Bolton wrote: “RIP Tango. At least you spent part of your life being looked after well, and loved by all who saw you.”

 

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