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Zoo Boise Saddened by Death of Tundra the Tiger

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- Zoo Boise's Amur tiger, Tundra, was euthanized Feb. 29. -  - ZOO BOISE
  • Zoo Boise
  • Zoo Boise's Amur tiger, Tundra, was euthanized Feb. 29.


Tundra, Zoo Boise's 18-year-old male Amur tiger, has been euthanized. 

Following a month of ill health and poor response to veterinary treatment, the tiger was euthanized Feb. 29. A necropsy determined the tiger's liver and pancreas were affected by cancer. The poor prognosis and Tundra's declining quality of life contributed to Zoo Boise's decision to end the animal's life.

"Everyone at Zoo Boise is very sad about the passing of Tundra," said Zoo Boise Director Steve Burns in a statement. "An entire generation of children in the Treasure Valley grew up seeing him and marveling at his beauty and majesty."

Amur tigers in captivity have a mean life expectancy of 16 years for males and 14.3 years for females. In the wild, their life expectancy is 10-15 years.

Zoo Boise acquired Tundra in 1999 from the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, along with Tundra's brother, Taiga, who was euthanized following health problems in 2013. The zoo still has a 12-year-old tiger, Katarina, and is working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Program to find a replacement, though the process is expected to take several months. The wait time is not expected to have a significant impact on Katarina.

"Tigers are solitary animals, so Katarina will be fine for the next few months," Burns said. 

The announcement of Tundra's death comes days after Zoo Boise and community partners announced a fundraising campaign to raise awareness of its conservation program and the need to update its facilities.