Gabi, a female German long-haired shepherd dog, was eight years old when she came to the Belgrade zoo. She was paired with another dog and together they accompanied the night watchman, patrolling the grounds of the zoo. Although she was no longer young, she was constantly proving her courage, bravery and determination.
One night a female jaguar managed to jump out of her cage and headed in the direction of the administration building. When the watchman and his trusty canines came to that part of the Garden, Gabi suddenly stopped, listening. She stood still for a second, then rushed like a bullet into the darkness, while the other dog, a male German shepherd, ran in the opposite direction with a whimper. The night watchman remained confused, unaware of what was going on. It was only when the silence of the night was broken by a great roar and barking that he realized the bitter battle between the dog and the beast was going on. Excited, the night watchman ran to the phone and informed the police about the event. The police woke up Mr Vuk Bojović, the manager of the zoo, and together they rushed to the spot. They immediately found out that the beast in question was a female jaguar, young and powerful. At first, they tried to return the jaguar to her cage, but in the end they realised that it would unfortunately be necessary to shoot her. Gabi was found near the site of the duel. She lay half-dead, in a large pool of blood. That night she fearlessly engaged an opponent much stronger than herself and prevented a dangerous beast from attacking the night watchman or escaping from the zoo and attacking the citizens of Belgrade.
An ambulance came and Gabi was transferred to the Veterinary Faculty, where she was operated on and given antibiotics and blood transfusions, since she had lost great deal of blood. After the procedure, she returned to the zoo. Since at the zoo there were no hospital facilities, Gabi was put in the manager's office. A rack was used to hold infusion bottles, two armchairs were joined to each other to form a makeshift bed and a desk was used as a place to keep medical supplies.
Many people, not only vets but other zoo personnel and volunteers too, took care of Gabi as her courage produced lots of publicity. The recovery was rather slow, which is not surprising given the severity and number of injuries. It took Gabi almost four months to get up and make a few steps.
Because of her glorious achievement, zoo workers decided to build the heroic dog a monument that would forever remind visitors not only of her courage and boldness but also of her loyalty and limitless devotion to her human handlers. On the pedestal of this monument (made by academic sculptor Nicholas Vukosavljević) there is a plaque with the inscription: "Gabi - her heart was stronger than a jaguar." For many years, until the end of her life, Gabi continued to diligently do her job - accompanying the night watchman, or lying next to the gate ready to jump at anyone who might dare to threaten the zoo, its staff or residents.