AboutZoos, Since 2008


Elderly tiger in Rot­ter­dam Zoo suffocates

pub­lished 21 Decem­ber 2011 | mod­i­fied 23 Decem­ber 2011

Yes­ter­day, Her­mes, the elderly male Suma­tran tiger of Rot­ter­dam Zoo sud­denly died. After he received his meat, he suf­fo­cated while chok­ing on a chunk of his din­ner. He died on the spot in front of sev­eral vis­i­tors. Like many older felines, Her­mes suf­fered from a chronic kid­ney prob­lem, which grad­u­ally weak­ened him. Whether or not this was the cause of his unfor­tu­nate death is unclear. Rot­ter­dam Zoo calls it a tragic coincidence.

Her­mes has been an inhab­i­tant of the Zoo since May 17, 1996 and has sired a total of six cubs. Her­mes was sixteen-​and-​a-​half years old. Cap­tive tigers have lived for as long as twenty-​six years, and twenty years is not uncom­mon. The life span in the wild is much shorter. A wild tiger doing well when reach­ing four­teen. (Sources: web­site Rot­ter­dam Zoo, 07.04.2011; Wild Cats of the Worlds by Mel and Fiona Sun­quist, 2002)

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