Big cat cools off in water fountain

Claudine Zap
Big cat cools off in water fountain

Like many a retiree, this former circus cat named Flavio is spending his golden years in Florida. And his frolicking antics in the fountain prove he's not too old to get playful.

The video posted by Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Fla., catches the cat acting like a kitten as he plays in the spray.

He bats the stream with his paw as if the water is his play toy, then takes long gulps.

According to the organization, the male Siberian/Bengal tiger retired to Big Cat Rescue in 2002.

His caretakers believe he was born in 1989, making him possibly the world’s oldest tiger in captivity at 24.

“Flavio arrived at Big Cat Rescue in 2002 after retiring from the circus. He was hailed as the smartest circus tiger ever known,” according to the organization’s website, which adds, “He performed a light and music number flawlessly for years until he decided one day that he didn’t like the other tigers and all he wanted to do was fight.”

"That ended Flavio’s career in the circus but brought him to his new habitat at Big Cat Rescue," the site adds.

In an email to Yahoo News, Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue, noted that the video, shot on August 9, marked the first time Flavio ever played in the water spray.

"I am so happy that people are captivated by how this very old tiger is acting like a kitten in the fountain," Baskin wrote. "It shows that big cats have personalities and a need to entertain themselves, just like we do," she added.