The Potter Park Zoo family is mourning the loss of Sivaki, a 16-year-old geriatric Amur Tiger, who was humanely euthanized yesterday following a decline in his health due to age related spinal disease.
“After animal care staff noticed he was reluctant to move, veterinary staff diagnosed the spinal disease as the cause of his discomfort,” said Dr. Ronan Eustace, Potter Park Zoo’s Director of Animal Health. “Treatment to address his spinal disease was initiated, but his condition worsened quickly and it was determined euthanasia was the humane decision.”
Sivaki, who was born at Potter Park Zoo, was an important representative of his species having fathered three cubs and inspired many zoo visitors through the years. Amur tigers are critically endangered with only an estimated 400 to 500 remaining in the wild. The median life expectancy for males of this species is 16.3 years.
Potter Park Zookeeper Annie Marcum is one of the many team members at the zoo who had a special connection with Sivaki having worked with him for more than 15 years.
“It’s been my pleasure and privilege to work with Sivaki for the last 15 years. Sivaki was five-months-old when I started my internship. He inspired me. Training Sivaki and his sisters showed me the huge impact zookeepers can have on the welfare of the animals we care for and I will always be grateful for that. It was lessons learned from him that led me on my path to join the ongoing effort of our institution to strive for exceptional welfare and conservation of their wild spaces. I will miss him greatly,” said Marcum.
The Potter Park Zoo team appreciates the support of the community through this difficult time. We know those who visited him are mourning along with us as we say goodbye to this incredible cat.
Nearly 500 animals call Potter Park Zoo home, including critically endangered black rhinos, endangered red pandas, Massasauga rattlesnake and spider monkeys. The zoo is located in Lansing, Michigan and is open 364 days a year. For more information, visit www.potterparkzoo.org.