The bronze tiger statue that has stood for 25 years near the front of Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero is set to return to its post Thursday after a three-month absence.
The grand return happens at 10 a.m. Then on Saturday, the zoo will host a “welcome back” party for the tiger from 10 a.m. to noon, according to a news release from the city of Atascadero.
The 1,700-pound tiger was hoisted out of its location in the flamingo enclosure in November to be cleaned and refurbished, the release said. The tiger’s finish had dulled because of weather wear, making periodic cleaning difficult. The statue was set to return in mid-February, but rains delayed the move.
Friends of the Charles Paddock Zoo is soliciting donations for the $8,500 cost to remove, clean and return the statue. Donations can be dropped off at the zoo or mailed to the zoo at 9305 Pismo Ave. in Atascadero. Checks should be made out to Friends of the Charles Paddock Zoo and the donation marked “tiger makeover” to get a tax deduction.