Zoo Boise reports that Tundra, the zoo’s 18-year-old male Amur tiger, was euthanized Monday.
Tundra’s health had been declining over the last month and he had not responded to veterinary treatment. The gross necropsy results, which took a few days to receive, revealed evidence of cancer affecting his liver and pancreas. The poor prognosis and the decline in quality of life were the deciding factors in euthanizing the tiger, Zoo officials said in a news release.
Tundra arrived at Zoo Boise in 1999 from the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago along with his brother, Taiga. The Zoo says Tundra has been one of Zoo visitors’ favorites for many years.
“Everyone at Zoo Boise is very sad about the passing of Tundra. He was part of our family and we will miss him. An entire generation of children in the Treasure Valley grew up seeing him and marveling at his beauty and majesty,” said Steve Burns, Director of Zoo Boise.
The mean life expectancy for Amur tigers in zoos is 16 years for males and 14.3 years for females. Experts say tigers live 10 to 15 years in the wild.
Zoo Boise still has one tiger, Katarina, who is 12 years old. Zoo offocials stated they will work with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Program to determine the best options for replacing Tundra. The zoo may not have an answer for several months. “Tigers are solitary animals, so Katarina will be fine for the next few months,” Burns stated.