Therapy in the form of a baby tiger
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A white tiger cub at Project Survival's Cat Haven is named Dianna, after the 24-year-old intern Dianna Hanson, who was killed by a lion at the Cat Haven in March.
Tigers were Dianna's favorite cat. The staff at Cat Haven say the baby cub is already showing personality traits like that of her namesake. The cub has even got Dianna's blue eyes.
" She looked a little sassy and that's what Dianna was too, so that's always a cute thing to have happen- the tiger mimicked the person they're named after in that way," said Dale Anderson, Executive Director at Project Survival's Cat Haven.
After Dianna Hanson Died the staff at the Cat Haven wanted to name an animal after the 24-year-old intern. Then an Oklahoma rescue group reached out, asking for help after tornadoes wreaked havoc on their facility.
Anderson took at look at the baby white cub and her blue eyes. She then knew the tiger cub should be called Dianna.
"She's her own individual self but we'll know her as Dianna the tiger but it honors Dianna the person knowing that's who she was named after," said Anderson.
Thus far only Hanson's brother has met his sister's namesake but her dad, Paul Hanson, got to see a picture. He said the tiger cub was beautiful. Paul Hanson was recently interviewed about the new tiger cub and said he is unbelievably pleased.
"I almost lost it there I just could not believe it- and Dianna would be just beside herself knowing she has a tiger cub with blue eyes," Hanson said.
Hanson fondly recalled Dianna's childhood years. When teachers asked her parents why the child only drew tigers, at one point Dianna drew a tiger with blue eyes, and called it a self portrait.
"If we're not saving cats in the wild we're not doing anything worthwhile here, so a cat like this is a great ambassador, people are excited to see a white cat, white tiger, and say what can I do to help in conservation, this is what Dianna would want us to do and this is what Dianna will do for us," said Anderson.
Anderson says it is therapy and healing, brining new life to their mission after tragedy. Baby Dianna has already gone into schools. They are hoping she will help inspire future generations about conservation of cats in the wild.
dunlap, animal, local, stephanie stone
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