Zoo prepares for new tiger, other arrivals

Zoo prepares for new tiger, other arrivals

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 8th, 2009
BY: Paula McCambridge

Just a month after the death of its 9-year-old Malayan tiger, Sala, the Charles Paddock Zoo is expecting a young 1-and-a-half-yea- old male Malayan to arrive within the week from the San Diego Zoo and to be available for public viewing after a 30-day quarantine.

“If all goes well, it’ll get through quarantine with no problems,” said Alan Baker, zoo director. “And we’re not expecting any problems, but with living animals there’s always something.”

The “always something” happened last month when Sala unexpectedly died, leaving zoo personnel saddened and surprised, Baker said. Preliminary lab results now suggest Sala suffered from a viral infection that included complications that led to her death. Zoo officials expect a full lab report within the week.

When zookeepers noticed Sala was losing weight, she underwent exploratory surgery, during which, her heart simply stopped beating, Baker said. She was an adult in her prime — tigers in captivity can live to be 15 to 16 years old — and had successfully undergone surgery in the past, so staff had every reason to believe she could withstand the exploratory surgery, he said.

With Sala gone and with the hope of getting another tiger for the zoo, personnel made repairs to the exhibit.




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