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February 17, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Woodland Park Zoo's only male tiger euthanized

Rakata, 19, was euthanized Friday at Woodland Park Zoo. (ZOO PHOTO)

 

Woodland Park Zoo euthanized a 19-year-old male Sumatran tiger, named Rakata, on Friday because of age-related kidney failure and liver disease.

The life expectancy of Sumatran tigers is 18 to 20 years in zoos and 15 years in the wild, according to a statement from the zoo.

Zookeepers noted a decline in Rakata’s activity and health earlier this month, leading to a comprehensive examination.

“Despite supportive care and treatments, the tiger never regained a healthy appetite and euthanasia was the most humane option for this geriatric animal,” said the zoo’s Associate Veterinarian, Dr. Kelly Helmick.

A 20-year-old female, JoJo, is the zoo’s sole surviving Sumatran tiger. She and Rakata lived together compatibly for 11 years and produced five cubs, the last born in 2006.

“Our staff, volunteers, and tiger fans will miss Rakata and his chuffs and roars echoing off the walls of his exhibit,” said Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at the zoo.

The remains of the tiger will become part of the research and education collection at The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Comments | More in General news | Topics: Seattle, tiger, Woodland Park Zoo

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