Reedley College tiger gets new stripes

Plans are in the works to freshen up Reedley College’s iconic tiger statue

lyde, Reedley College’s beloved Tiger statue, will soon receive a makeover! (Kenny Goodman)
George Takata
Published October 19, 2023  • 
11:00 am

REEDLEY – The older you get, the more you need to take care of your health. Now, well into his 60’s, the most famous statue in Reedley is in dire need of “some work.”

The iconic Clyde statue, located in front of the administration building along Reed Avenue, is starting to show some age-related wear and tear, so the campus has recruited a group of community and college volunteers to address the issue. “Clyde has watched over our campus for a very long time, and now it’s time to give him some much needed attention,” said Director of Marketing and Communications George Takata. “Everyone takes photos in front of him, especially at commencement, so we’re starting to look into how we can bring him back to his original glory.” The restoration project is the first of many tasks identified by the college as important in preparing for its centennial celebration in 2026.

Clyde was carved out of redwood by sculptor Carroll Barnes in Three Rivers, and was unveiled to the world on February 19, 1959. The three and a half ton Bengal tiger statue is now 64 years old, and stands nine feet tall (including the base). “We’ve painted over Clyde multiple times, which will not do the trick anymore,” Takata said. “We’re going to ensure that he’ll be around for the next 100 years of Reedley’s history, and we’re working with specialists to help make certain that happens.”

A wood preservation specialist to fix the most intimidating cat in Reedley? That’s definitely something to keep an eye (of the tiger) on.

George Takata
Special to the Mid Valley Times