Last white tiger at Cincinnati Zoo euthanized
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The last white tiger at the Cincinnati Zoo has died. Zoo officials say they had to euthanize Popsy on June 21.
The zoo says Popsy was the oldest white tiger at any accredited North American zoo. At 22-years-old she was past the average lifespan for a tiger, which is 15 to 20 years.
"The animal health staff has been closely monitoring Popsy’s medical condition over the past several months,” said Dr. Mark Campbell, Director of Animal Health. “As a geriatric tiger she had several health issues we were managing and treating. The animal health and care staff collaboratively concluded that we were unable to continue to maintain her good quality of life.”
Popsy came to Cincinnati from Nashville in June 1996. Zoo employees said she was the Queen of Cat Canyon and she let the other tigers know it.
She was named after the Cincinnati Pops. Her companion Akere, died in December.
The Cincinnati Zoo says there are only about 3,900 tigers left in the wild. White tigers are not albinos. They are a rare expression of recessive genes. Only about one of every 10,000 tigers are white.