Adelaide Zoo has announced the difficult decision to euthanise the zoo’s 19-year-old male Sumatran Tiger Tuan after a number of age-related conditions affected his quality of life.
Zoos SA Senior Veterinarian Dr Ian Smith said Tuan had been suffering from arthritis and kidney issues over several months and a losing interest in food and water indicated he was very unwell.
“The veterinary team decided there was no additional medical treatment that would have improved Tuan’s quality of life and the decision was made to humanely euthanise him,” said Dr Smith.
“Although this is a sad loss for the zoo family, it was the best thing to do for Tuan.
“The average life expectancy for Sumatran Tigers in the wild is about 12 years and in captivity about 20 years, so 19 is a really good age for Tuan to have reached.”
Born in 1998 in Lisbon Zoo, Portugal and arriving at Adelaide Zoo in November 2006, Tuan was the oldest male Sumatran Tiger in Australia.
Adelaide Zoo is now working with the regional species coordinator to bring other tigers to the zoo, with the hope of breeding tigers as part of the vital breeding program securing a future for this critically endangered species.
Sadly, wild tiger populations are at an all-time low, with less than 400 Sumatran Tigers estimated to be left in the wild.