Share story


Woodland Park Zoo euthanizeda 19-year-old male Sumatran tiger, named Rakata, on Friday because of age-related kidney failure and liver disease.

The life expectancy of Sumatran tigers is 18 to 20 years in zoos and 15 years in the wild, according to a statement from the zoo.

Zookeepers noted a decline in Rakata’s activity and health earlier this month, leading to a comprehensive examination.

Despite supportive care and treatments, the tiger never regained a healthy appetite and euthanasia was the most humane option for this geriatric animal,said thezoos Associate Veterinarian, Dr. Kelly Helmick.

A 20-year-old female, JoJo, is the zoos sole surviving Sumatran tiger. She and Rakata lived together compatibly for 11 years and produced five cubs, the last born in 2006.

“Our staff, volunteers, and tiger fans will miss Rakata and his chuffs and roars echoing off the walls of his exhibit, said Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at the zoo.

The remains of the tiger will become part of the research and education collection at The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.