Two of Saipan Zoo’s main attractions–an African lion named Lambert, and a Syberian tiger named Tasha finally got new homes at a wildlife sanctuary in Colorado. This came after Samaritan’s Purse, a humanitarian Christian organization replied to the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. officials to transport the animals to Colorado. The animals were loaded on a DC-8 and landed in Denver, Colorado in Dec. 5, 2018 . The cats were quickly transported to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado. Read the story HERE.
The Saipan Zoo closed in August 2015 after Cat 5 typhoon Soudelor devastated the island, and Zoo owner Frank Aldan had been looking for a new home for the big cats since then. In October 24, 2018, Typhoon Yutu, an extremely powerful tropical cyclone Yutu caused catastrophic damage to Saipan making the zoo now totally unfit to house the animals.
Before the Saipan Zoo closed, I had been a regular visitor and Lambert and Tasha were always my favorites, along with the pond full of Koi fish. Booboo the bear was there when I first started visiting the zoo in 2009 but he has long since died.
I had taken video clips of Lambert when he was hungry and pacing back and forth for so many minutes, as well as photos of him looking so bored and old and tired. I always loved listening to his deep and frightful roar when it’s almost feeding time. I was there one time when the animal handler came carrying a bucket with two chicken quarter legs which he placed in Lambert’s plate after opening two barred gates. Lambert glared at us through the bars with mean eyes. The handler said that Lambert is at his meanest when he is given food, because he thinks that we will grab his food.
Tasha was stationed near the entrance and it was always enjoy watching her pace back and forth, baring her fangs.
The zoo opened in 1992 when some people started donating birds, and other indigenous animals. The exotic animals including Lambert and Tasha came in 1996.