August 10, 2012 at 3:04 PM
Last tiger at Woodland Park Zoo dies
The Woodland Park zoo has lost its one and only tiger.
The 20-year-old female Sumatran tiger, JoJo, was euthanized Friday after a period of declining health and kidney failure related to old age, according to zoo officials.
Sumatran tigers live to be 15 years old in the wild and 18-20 years in captivity.
JoJo came to the Seattle Zoo from the Memphis Zoo in 2001. She mated with the zoo’s only male tiger, Rakata, and the pair produced five cubs, the last born in 2006. Rakata died in February.
JoJo’s health had been in decline for several months and she was losing weight and her appetite in recent weeks, according to zoo officials.
“Age-related changes in the kidney are a common cause of decline in geriatric zoo cats,” the zoo’s Director of Animal Health, Dr. Darin Collins said in a statement. “We knew JoJo was near the end of her life and the zookeepers and veterinary staff have done an excellent job of making her final days as comfortable as possible.”
Sumatran tigers are among the rarest tigers on earth with an estimate of just 400 of the cats in the wild.
While there are now no tigers at the zoo, officials hope to introduce a Malayan tiger, a related endangered subspecies, to visitors in 2014.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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