WSLS Newschannel 10
Dec 10, 2006
The Mill Mountain Zoo announced Sunday, its female tiger “Ruby,” passed away. She was one of the most recognizable animals at the Zoo for the past 18 years. Ruby was euthanized Sunday morning.
Zoo officials say for the last several years, Ruby had been treated with medications for arthritis in her left shoulder and kidney abnormalities. Since the spring, Ruby’s weight dropped more than 50 pounds. The zoo staff said it noticed a decline in her appetite and in her overall body condition. After noticing a decline in her quality of life this past week, Zoo staff say they made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize her.
At approximately 19 years of age, Ruby was considered one of the oldest living tigers in North American zoos. She arrived at the Mill Mountain Zoo in 1998 after she was confiscated from a private owner in Danville.
“She was an incredible wildlife ambassador for hundreds of thousands of children and adults, and loved by Zoo staff, visitors and the community,” said Zoo Director Sean Greene. “This past week we could see signs that her quality of life was diminishing. Even though it was the right decision, it wasn’t easy.”