White tiger at Singapore Zoo dies

White tiger at Singapore Zoo dies
Winnie the white tiger has been euthanised after suffering from a tumour in her jaw, Wildlife Reserves Singapore said on Tuesday.

One of the two rare white tigers at Singapore Zoo has died.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) said in a statement on Monday that its "beloved" Winnie died on Aug 12. It is survived by its brother Omar.

Winnie had been terminally ill with a worsening tumour in its jaw bone.

The zoo's veterinary team decided to euthanise it to prevent further suffering, added the statement.

The WRS said its vets had been caring for the tiger for the past few months to ensure its quality of life was maintained.

Winnie lived for 14 years, 10 months and 16 days, comparable with wild tigers, whose average lifespans are between 10 and 15 years, according to the WRS.

It was born in captivity in Taman Safari, Indonesia, before arriving at the Singapore Zoo in April 2001 at the age of 19 months.

Jippie, another of the zoo's white tigers, was put down in March 2012 as it was terminally ill.

White tigers are a rare variant of the Bengal tiger, born without the pigment that usually makes the fur orange.

Only one out of every 10,000 Bengal tigers are born this way.

Native to the forests and grasslands in South Asia, it is so rare that it has not been seen in the wild for decades.

About 300 live in captivity in zoos around the world and are firm favourites with visitors.

They made their debut here in 1988, when two arrived from the United States' Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on a four-month loan.

davidee@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Aug 27, 2014.
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