The sunset zoo announced the death of its only tiger Wednesday in a news release.
Manhattan, KS, March 26, 2014 – Sunset Zoo bid farewell today to Bob Jr., an 18-year-old male Amur tiger. Bob was euthanized Wednesday morning after receiving treatment for chronic kidney and arthritis problems over the last several years.
The tiger had been under close veterinary observation, showing symptoms of renal (kidney) failure and suffering from severe arthritis. As a result, Bob’s ability to move around his exhibit was limited and he had lost significant weight due to a decreased appetite.
“Ensuring all Zoo residents enjoy a strong quality of life is top priority,” said Scott Shoemaker, Zoo Director. “With Bob’s age and the chronic diseases he was suffering, we determined his quality of life had deteriorated to the point that euthanasia was the only option.”
Veterinary care for the Zoo’s 200+ residents is provided by the Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University with Dr. James Carpenter serving as lead Veterinarian. A full necropsy of the tiger will be completed by veterinary staff.
Residing at Sunset Zoo since 2005, Bob was near the end of his expected lifespan at the time of his death. In captivity, Amur Tigers live an average of 16 to 22 years.
With Bob’s passing, there are currently no tigers on exhibit at the Zoo. Staff are currently exploring options to renovate this portion of the Zoo, creating the potential need to relocate animals during a construction phase. Because of this, Zoo staff will delay locating additional animals at this time.