Zoo Mourns the Loss of Beloved Tiger, Tigger
Hattiesburg – After 17 years of serving as an ambassador for her species in the wild, Tigger, the Hattiesburg Zoo’s beloved Siberian Tiger, was humanely euthanized Friday afternoon following a decline in her quality of life due to old age.
“A decision like this is never a simple one, but after consulting with three veterinarians who unanimously agreed upon this decision, we are confident that it is the right one for her.” said Animal Curator, Katie Barry.
Siberian Tigers are the world’s largest species of cat and are listed as an endangered species, due to poaching and deforestation of their natural habitats in Eastern Russia, China and North Korea. There are approximately 400 to 500 Siberian Tigers currently living in the wild. Typical life expectancy for a Siberian Tiger in the wild is 10 to 15 years. Tigger exceeded this by two years.
“We were fortunate to have had a species of Tigger’s distinction in our Zoo,” said Barry. “She brought to Hattiesburg a tremendous opportunity for the public to learn the importance of conservation of the natural world. She has been a pillar in the Hattiesburg Zoo family, and we will mourn for her as a community, remembering what a great representative she has been.”
Born at the Hattiesburg Zoo, Tigger enjoyed frequent training and enrichment activities with her keepers. Over the years, countless students and volunteers of the Zoo’s educational programs participated in creating enrichment items for Tigger’s enjoyment. The public often had the chance to watch as Tigger played with her toys and hunted for treats left in her home. Her other favorite activities were swimming in her pool and playing with her boomer ball.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Tigger, but this is the nature of Zoo work,” said Rick Taylor, Executive Director of the Hattiesburg Convention and Tourism Commissions. “We take solace in knowing that she had a good, long life and that she was loved by our staff and community. We will miss her.”
The Hattiesburg Zoo is a Hattiesburg Convention Commission Facility, in partnership with the City of Hattiesburg and the Hattiesburg Tourism Commission. Since 1991, the Hattiesburg Convention Commission has been developing and operating tourism-related facilities for the Hattiesburg area. For more information, visit www.HattiesburgZoo.com or contact us at 601.268.3220.