Oregon Zoo's aging tiger Mikhail dies
The Oregon Zoo's 19-year-old, 300-pound Amur tiger Mikhail was humanely euthanized Tuesday, Oct. 30, after a decline in health because of his advanced age.
The large cat was a day short of his 20th birthday. He was the oldest Amur tiger in any zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, according to Oregon Zoo officials.
"As old as he was, we knew, realistically, that this day would be coming," said Amy Cutting, who oversees the zoo's Amur cat area. "But even when you think you're prepared for it, you never really are."
According to zoo officials, Amur tigers typically live around 10 to 15 years in the wild. Male tigers usually live about 16 years, according to the AZA.
"Until recently, Mik was so playful and active you could easily think he was a much younger cat," Cutting said. "That's a huge testament to the care he received here. I couldn't be prouder of our keeper staff for everything they did to ensure he had a good life right up to the end."
Mikhail was born Oct. 31, 1998, at the John Ball Zoological Garden in Grand Rapids, Mich., and moved to the Oregon Zoo on Sept. 12, 2000.
Mikhail's death came just weeks after Borris, another extremely old Amur cat, died in early October.