Amur Tiger Dies at Assiniboine Park Zoo

Two Amur tiger cubs come out of their den to show off for the public at Assiniboine Park Zoo on Monday, October 3, 2011. (JENNA CUMBERS / METRO WINNIPEG FILE)

One of the Amur tigers at Assiniboine Park Zoo passed away Monday after going into cardiac arrest.

Zoo staff say Reka, one of two tiger cubs introduced to the public last October, appeared lethargic on Sunday, had a reduced appetite and showed discharged from the eyes. While being prepped for a full exam today, he stopped breathing after being tranquilized.

“As you can imagine, staff at the zoo are devastated,” said Tim Sinclair-Smith, director of zoological operations. “Reka was such a celebrated addition to the zoo and was one of the crowd-favourites… he will be missed and we’re doing everything possible to ensure the health of our other animals and to provide support for our staff.”

While a definitive cause of death hasn’t been determined, Dr. Chris Enright, head of veterinary services at the zoo, says he believes one-year-old Reka had contracted an infectious disease.

“This obviously gives us concern for our other animals so the tigers have been quarantined until we have definitive answers on what led to Reka’s death,” Enright said.

Reka is one of two Amur tigers born at the Assiniboine Park Zoo on July 29, 2011 and then unveiled to the public on October 3.


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