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Potter Park Zoo euthanizes 16-year-old tiger

Posted at 12:49 PM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 12:49:04-04

LANSING, Mich. — Potter Park Zoo is mourning the loss of Sivaki, a 16-year-old geriatric Amur Tiger, who was humanely euthanized Wednesday after a decline in his health due to 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. “Treatment to address his spinal disease was initiated, but his condition worsened quickly and it was determined euthanasia was the humane decision.”

Sivaki was born at the zoo and fathered three cubs.

Amur tigers are critically endangered, with only about 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 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,” Marcum said. “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.”