August 27, 2012
Tiger cub dies during zoo exam
By QMI Agency
WINNIPEG - A baby tiger at Assiniboine Park Zoo has died.
Reka, an Amur tiger, had just celebrated his first birthday on July 29. He and his sister Sarma were born in the zoo to parents Baikal and Kendra. The animals are also known as Siberian tigers.
“As you can imagine, staff at the Zoo are devastated,” said Tim Sinclair-Smith, director of zoological operations. “Reka was such a celebrated addition to the Zoo and was one of the crowd favourites ... he will be missed and we’re doing everything possible to ensure the health of our other animals and to provide support for our staff.”
Reka was unwell Sunday, acting tired, eating little and showing discharge from his eyes, the zoo said.
He was scheduled for a full exam Monday morning, but shortly after he was tranquilized for the appointment he stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest. He died at 9:55 a.m.
“It’s too early to make a definitive diagnosis but all indications at this time would point towards the presence of some form of infectious disease,” said Chris Enright, the zoo’s head of veterinary services. “This obviously gives us concern for our other animals so the tigers have been quarantined until we have definitive answers on what led to Reka’s death.”
Enright expects to be able to provide an interim report on Reka’s illness within 48 hours, but doesn’t believe he’ll be able to confirm what killed the cub for up to two weeks.
The other tigers are in quarantine but they can still be viewed by the public.