The Greater Vancouver Zoo ended 2013 on a sad note yesterday by euthanizing Sweetie, its oldest tiger.
According to zoo officials, the difficult decision was made after continued concern regarding the tiger’s loss of appetite, respiratory distress and being lethargic even after medication and attempts to stimulate her appetite.
Sweetie was under constant veterinary care for the past month and a half, but her condition continued to decline. The decision was then made to sedate her and do further testing, which resulted in the zoo’s decision to euthanize.
She was put down at approximately 1 p.m. and a full necropsy was performed afterwards.
Sweetie, a Siberian Tiger, was born at the Greater Vancouver Zoo and was 18 years of age.
The median life expectancy of female Siberian Tigers is 14 years in captivity. In the wild there are estimated to be as few as 400 – 500 Siberian Tigers living primarily in eastern Russia, although some exist in China and North Korea.
Tigers are listed as “vulnerable” conservation status by the IUCN (International Union of Conservation of Nature) Red List. Tigers are the largest members of the cat family.
Source/Image: Greater Vancouver Zoo