Hundreds of Waterloo families had been looking forward to seeing the infamous tiger family return to Waterloo for Family Day this year. The event, to be held in Waterloo Park from 10am-11am, promised to combine the three pillars of Family Day: education, family values, and moderate amounts of danger. However, the celebration took a dark turn when the animal caretakers realized they had lost the 3 tiger cubs.
Following in the footsteps of Laurier University, which converted Alumni Field into an observatory for a family of golden hawks, The City of Waterloo was looking forward to reinstating the tradition of Waterloo Tigers.
“The City of Waterloo has a long history of tiger commemoration,” says 56 year-old Burt Lambert. “I remember the tiger performances at the 1989 Waterloo Buskers Carnival like it was yesterday. Of course, we haven’t seen the tigers around here for quite some time, ever since the petting zoo incidence.”
Burt refers to the infamous 1993 attempt to integrate the tiger family into Waterloo Park. Although no one was hurt, concerns were raised over the short fence heights after one of the tigers jumped out of his cage and headed for the pond. The tigers were sedated and removed after a 23 minute display period at the park.
“Tigers represent everything Family Day should stand for. Pride, integrity, and sugary cereals. It’s a true tragedy that the tiger cubs were separated from their parents, but I think the core message was conveyed anyway.”
This story isn’t a complete Family Day catastrophe. Waterloo Animal Services were able to call in emergency lion cubs. In the true spirit of Family Day, the lion cubs were integrated into the tiger family, and Waterloo locals were charged twice as much to enter the observing deck.