Monday, November 4, 2013

BREAKING NEWS!!!!!



I have had this tape which was copied off of a dvd, so forgive the quality, for many, many years. It is the first White Tiger act in the world, the Hawthorn Tigers. The act was video taped in 1979 in Ft. Worth Texas, by Herta Klauser Cuneo. You will note I was still in my "Gunther" faze with the dyed blond hair. I have had hundreds of requests to put this tape on line, but lacked the technical skills necessary to pull it off. Now finally, thanks to a brilliant young man named Eduardo Fuentes and his girlfriend Dani, assisted by his beautiful mother Roseleni, I am finally able to share it. What a glorious time to be in the American Circus. 


 

8 comments:

Bruce the Clown said...

Man, I love time travel!

Anonymous said...

Wade: I didn't see this before it's great ! I'm amazed that you had so many white tigers as early as 1979. I was thinking about one of the orange tigers born at the NZP named Marvina, who was raised by zookeeper Art Cooper in his home. She was the only survivor from Kesari's litter of 6 cubs born in 1973, and although I never thought of this before, she would have been a sister of Ika and Ari. The cubs born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1974: Ranjit, Bharat, Priya, and Peela, would also have been siblings of Ika and Ari. I think that if the Bristol Zoo had agreed to John F. Cuneo Jr.'s request to trade some white tigers (not that the Bristol Zoo ever had that many) it wouldn't have been to Hawthorn Circus's advantage because the white tigers would have been so closely related anyway. Sincerely Paul

Anonymous said...

Wade: I met a nice lady last Summer, a few blocks from my house, who had two of the smallest, full grown, dogs I have ever seen. She is from East Germany originally and she had six big tigers. I asked her if she knows John Cuneo. She said: "John Cuneo is my boss". There was a big blue Hawthorn Circus truck parked nearby. A few days later I read in the paper that the guy who put on the circus and an animal rights activist got into a physical fight. It was filmed and put on the internet. I don't know whether anybody was prosecuted. Take care. Sincerely Paul PS: I am sure there is a way to improve the picture resolution of this video.

Wade G. Burck said...

Paul,
Yes, it is amazing to think that in 1979 with less then a dozen
White Tigers in the United States, I was caring for 5 of them. The two White Tigers which kept coming up to me to be patted were Ika and Ari. The woman you would have spoken too was Judit Nueger. She and her husband Jurgen have the last remaining Hawthorn tiger act on the road. Even more incredible then the number of White Tigers in 1979 is how the Hawthorn Corp. collapsed. Are you sure they didn't have 12 gold tigers, and one White Tiger instead of 6?

Regards, Wade

Anonymous said...

Wade: I'm sure you are right about the number. I have a terrible memory, but they were all orange. Let's see in 1979 you had Ika, Ari, Tony, Bagheera, and Frosty. The Cincinnati Zoo had Bhim and Sumita, and the National Zoo had Mohini Rewa (aged 20), Rewati, Ranjit, Bharat, and Priya. Maybe the Cincinnati Zoo had had a litter by 1979. So you had five out of 12 of the North American population of white tigers. Why didn't they breed Tony and Kesari a few more times? Kesari went to live at the Henry Doorly Zoo and never had another litter. They may as well have loaned her to the Hawthorn Circus as a mate for Tony. I've never understood why the Cincinnati Zoo was entitled to a pair of white tigers from that litter since they owned neither of the parents. Did you hear anything about that physical altercation at the circus in Ottawa last Summer? Take care. Sincerely Paul

Wade G. Burck said...

Paul,
I don't think John Cuneo was interested in breeding any more with Cincinnati. Remember, he thought he had a male gold carrier(Ural/Prince) to breed with a female gold carrier(Sheba) to produce with. Tony was only sent to Cincinnati because Hawthorn was going to Mexico, and did not want to take Tony, and have something happen. As Kesari was in Cincinnati on "breeding loan" I think the National Zoo was kinda winding down their white tiger program. It was either dicey or the luckiest draw in the world for Cincinnati. The breeding agreement said that any white offspring would be split equally, with any gold offspring going to National. As luck would have it, the first one born was a white male, Cincinnatis. The second was a white male, Hawthorn. The third was a white female, Cincinnati. The fourth was white male, Hawthorn. The last cub was gold going to National.

Wade

Anonymous said...

Wade: Thanks for the e-mail. The Cincinnati Zoo wanted to keep one of the three white cubs which Kesari produced there in 1974, by her brother Ramana. Kesari, Ramana, and Marvina were in Cincinnati to be boarded during renovations in Washington DC between 1974 and 1976, when the old Lion House was torn down, and replaced. Cincinnati Zoo was specifically told not to breed any of them. The Cincinnati Zoo tried to buy a white tiger from Bristol Zoo. I think they wanted one for a long time. Tony was supposed to be bred to Rewati, not Kesari, but it didn't happen, so Kesari was substituted for Rewati. I think Rewati had some problems because she was cross-eyed, and because she was handreared, and extremely inbred. I was told she didn't cycle normally, and she didn't breed with Poona, the male tiger from Brookfield Zoo, who was brought to Washington in 1973 to be bred to Mohini Rewa, Rewati, and Kesari. Only Kesari became pregnant in 1973. Rewati was housed separately from the other tigers at the Brookfield Zoo, where she lived from 1974-1976, because she was cross-eyed. Mohini Rewa lived at the Brookfield Zoo with their other tigers during that same period. The other white tiger cubs, the three from Kesari's 1974 litter born at the Cincinnati Zoo, were all used for breeding by the National Zoo, and their offspring went everywhere. The white male Ranjit was sent on breeding loan to Henry Doorly Zoo, and was paired with Tony's orange sister Obie, who I would guess was one of the three cubs from Raja and Sheba, Baron Julius Von Uhl's tigers, born on May 24th, 1975 in Fairfield, California, if memory serves me (and it often fails to). I don't think a tigress would have more than one litter in a year and I know she was born in 11975. Henry Doorly Zoo also acquired a male white tiger named Saamson from MarineWorld/AfricaUSA in Vallejo, California, which I don't think exists any more. They got him from Josip Marcan, the Croatian-American vet who once worked for Frankfurt Zoo. They told me that Josip Marcan was a Czech. Close enough I guess. They used to raise tiger cubs for him, but they had a falling out. Robert Baudy tried to breed Rewati to a Siberian tiger. He said they spoke the same language because they were both handreared. I would love to raise a white tiger cub, or a lion cub, and I read a newspaper article about someone in Florida who found a white tiger cub on a road. It fell off the back of a truck. If I found a white tiger cub I would think I was dreaming. A neighbour told me they had white tiger cubs up at the local mall. They turned out to be snow leopards from the local zoo in Wendover. Wade, I know you hate it when I say "I think", but I have a terrible memory. You are right that the National Zoo wanted to get out of the white tiger business. They weren't very successful breeding them. I told Allen Gold that he was more successful breeding white tigers than many zoos. He said "They try too hard". Take care. Sincerely Paul

Anonymous said...

Wade: By co-incidence I was watching The Seven Ages of Britain last night, hosted by David Dimbley. He went to the Victoria and Albert Museum to see Tipu's Tiger, and to film it and demonstrate how it worked. He said this: "In a storeroom at the Victoria ans Albert Museum is an object that instilled fear in British hearts. The message was clear. If we didn't want India to go the same way as America we had to start taking our responsibilities seriously. Like the tiger India had to be tamed." Sincerely Paul