When a white Siberian tiger cub was born at Brown’s Oakridge Zoo in rural Smithfield, it was a day of both joy and sadness.

Bogdan was born, but his mother died of complications from the birth.

Even though tiger cubs have an 80 percent mortality rate, zoo owners Ivan and Nancy Brown say their 14-week old tiger cub is doing well and weighs nearly 40 pounds.

Nancy explains Blogdan has brought a lot of joy to hundreds of people who visit the zoo because they have always wanted to pet a white tiger. “We have fulfilled a lot of bucket lists,” she explains.

Bogdan is also making a name for himself in Chicago where he has modeled for a line of men’s jewelry, says Nancy.

In this photo, a heart shape is seen on Bogdan’s back just behind his neck. Nancy explains the photo was submitted by a fan of Bogdan’s who has visited him five times already.

Nancy says she believes the heart shape mark in his fur was given to him by his mother who wanted him to remember her.

Nancy calls Bogdan very special and a miracle. “He is a blessing to us. In the wild he would have died,” explains Nancy of her precious gift.

Visitors to the zoo can see Blogdan during winter hours.

The zoo is located southwest of Smithfield, Ill., at 17732 N. Dairy Farm Road. After Labor Day, the zoo is open on weekends from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday and from noon until 4 p.m. on Sunday. Appointments are taken from those wishing to the visit the zoo during the week.


If the Brown Zoo doesn’t know how inhumane it is to inbreed tigers to get white cubs, they should be shut down.