Presidents throughout the decades have relied on their fuzzy, scaly, and feathered friends to provide joy, love, and companionship during their times in office. President Martin Van Buren had some of the most exotic pets of all U.S. presidents: two tiger cubs.
Born in 1782, Van Buren began his career as a lawyer, quickly gaining renown and respect in his native state of New York, according to the White House Historical Association
. In 1821, he was elected to the Senate, marking the beginning of his time on the stage of national politics.
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A strong supporter of Andrew Jackson, the White House reports that he was rewarded for his loyalty and aid with the position of secretary of state. However, in order to help bridge the gap of a divide in the Cabinet, Van Buren resigned from his position before his term was up. Luckily for him, Jackson was elected president a second time with Van Buren as his vice president. Then, in 1836, Van Buren on his own, taking his friend Jackson's place in the White House in 1837.
According to the Presidential Pet Museum
, although Van Buren's relationship with his pets was short-lived, it was nothing short of extraordinary. In fact, Van Buren has the distinction of having one of the most remarkable types of pet to set paw in the White House. The president was given two tiger cubs as a gift from the Sultan of Oman. Although he wanted to keep the young cats with him, he ultimately was not able because Congress pressured him to send them to the zoo.
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