Amur tiger euthanized at Lee Richardson Zoo
Published 11/12/2009 in Local News
By The Telegram
Lee Richardson Zoo staff have euthanized an aging tiger, just months after another elderly male tiger underwent the same procedure.
Boris, an Amur tiger brought to the zoo in 2005, was euthanized Wednesday, said Kathy Sexson, the zoo’s director.
Charlie, another elderly male tiger, was euthanized in early September at the age of 16 after succumbing to lung cancer.
Boris was the oldest Amur tiger in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan, or SSP, at the age of 20. Sexson said staff and veterinarians had been providing special care for him over the last few years as his health declined, including daily medications to alleviate discomfort from arthritis and to slow the advancement of kidney disease. The median life expectancy for tigers is 14 1/2 years, with a maximum longevity of 21 years.
Sexson said the zoo will coordinate efforts with the Tiger SSP to eventually acquire another tiger, but probably will take advantage of the available den space to accommodate Lee Richardson’s rapidly growing lion cubs, at least until the two male cubs depart for a new home at the Dallas Zoo next spring.
Amur tigers, formerly called Siberian tigers, are critically endangered, threatened primarily by loss of habitat, as well as poaching for body parts used in traditional Chinese medicine. They live in the forests of eastern Russia, with a few still existing in northeastern China and northern Korea.