Michael Jackson's pet tiger has died.

Thriller, the King of Pop's 13-year-old former pet, died of lung cancer at actress-and-activist Tippi Hedren's wildlife preserve in California earlier this month.

Tippi told msnbc: ''Thriller was a real piece of work, one gutsy girl. She ruled [her brother] Sabu's life. It was humorous to watch the whole relationship. She did things to him that male tigers would normally never allow. She would steal food from him. That's unheard of. She ruled the roost, was very independent and tough.

''She was about as tough a tiger as we have known here. She ruled over Sabu. She was the queen. We were fascinated by her dominance.''

Thriller and Sabu lived at Michael's Neverland Ranch until he moved out in 2006 and asked Tippi to take the big cats to her Shambala Preserve.

However, according to the actress he never sent any money to pay for their care and never made contact to check on them.

An autopsy was performed to pinpoint the cause of death before Thriller was cremated.

Staff at the reserve held a private service in her honour and buried her ashes.

Tippi said: ''It's very hard for all of us when these animals go away. Fortunately for Sabu and Thriller, they came in healthy and content. They had no problem with being in quarantine for 30 days. They adjusted so well.''