Zoo loses beloved tiger to cancer

Zoo loses beloved tiger to cancer
Special to the Courier

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Samson, the tiger at the Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary, has died.

“It is with great sadness that Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary announces the passing of our beloved Samson, the 10-year-old resident tiger,” zoo officials said Thursday.

The zoo acquired Samson in 1998 as a young adult from a private animal park in Texas, officials said. He suffered pancreatic digestive complications that required medication throughout the remainder of his life.

Veterinarians diagnosed him with inoperable cancer in early March and his health continued to decline until zoo officials decided on humane euthanasia. A veterinarian put him to sleep March 25.

“Throughout his life here at Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary, Samson bought the majestic style and appreciation to his many visitors, caretakers, and supportive fans that made him the iconic personality that he was,” said Pam McLaren, sanctuary director. “He was special to many and will be missed by all.”

The sanctuary has set up a memorial outside of Samson’s enclosure that will remain open to visitors throughout April to pay their respects and say goodbye, she said.

Supporters also may pledge donations in Samson’s name for exhibit modifications and enhancements that will provide a future home to a tiger in need at Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary. More information is available by calling 778-4242 or online at www.heriatageparkzoo.org.

The zoo thanked the Prescott Animal Hospital; veterinarians Dr. Rick Smith and Dr. Ken Skinner; the Yavapai Humane Society; and the HPZS animal keepers and staff for their care of Samson in his final days.



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