16-year-old tiger dies at Potter Park Zoo

Lansing

Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — Sivaki, a 16-year-old geriatric Amur Tiger died at the Potter Park Zoo Wednesday.

The zoo reports he was euthanized following an age-related spinal disease. 

“After animal care staff noticed he was reluctant to move, veterinary staff diagnosed the spinal disease as the cause of his discomfort,” said Dr. Ronan Eustace, Potter Park Zoo’s Director of Animal Health in a press release from the zoo. “Treatment to address his spinal disease was initiated, but his condition worsened quickly and it was determined euthanasia was the humane decision.” 

Sivaki, who was born at Potter Park Zoo, was an important representative of his species having fathered three cubs and inspired many zoo visitors through the years. Amur tigers are critically endangered with only an estimated 400 to 500 remaining in the wild. The median life expectancy for males of this species is 16.3 years.  

Potter Park Zookeeper Annie Marcum is one of the many team members at the zoo who had a special connection with Sivaki having worked with him for more than 15 years.  

“It’s been my pleasure and privilege to work with Sivaki for the last 15 years. Sivaki was five-months-old when I started my internship. He inspired me. Training Sivaki and his sisters showed me the huge impact zookeepers can have on the welfare of the animals we care for and I will always be grateful for that. It was lessons learned from him that led me on my path to join the ongoing effort of our institution to strive for exceptional welfare and conservation of their wild spaces. I will miss him greatly,” Marcum said in a press release.

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