Zoo Boise is sad to announce the death of beloved 14-year-old Amur tiger, Katarina. Veterinary staff made the tough decision to euthanize the tiger following further complications from a back injury she suffered last year.
In October, Katarina underwent spinal surgery after suffering a herniated disc, which resulted in paralysis of her hind legs. During surgery, veterinary staff removed material that was compressing the tiger’s spinal cord.
Katarina showed signs of improvement in the months following surgery. Under the watchful eye of Zoo Boise staff, the tiger slowly regained mobility in her hind legs and eventually returned to her exhibit in January.
However, Katarina’s ability to walk and move around her exhibit took a turn for the worse in recent days. Veterinarians determined the risk of operating on the tiger again, especially at the age of 14, was too great.
The mean life expectancy for female Amur tigers in zoos is around 14 years. Tigers typically live 10 to 15 years in the wild.
“This is a sad day for everyone who had the chance to meet this majestic creature,” said Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway. “Katarina was truly a member of our family and we will miss her.”
Zoo staff will work with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Program to determine the best options for bringing another tiger to Zoo Boise.
Zoo Boise is a division of the City of Boise Parks and Recreation Department. The zoo invites the community to Keep Your World Wild; the zoo turns the act of visiting the zoo into a conservation action. Zoo Boise is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, a national organization that supports excellence in animal care, conservation, education and science. Located in Julia Davis Park, Zoo Boise is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Labor Day. For more information, see www.zooboise.org or call (208) 608-7760.