Zoo says good­bye to Jaka the tiger

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - HAN­NAH MARTIN

Auck­land Zoo’s Su­ma­tran tiger Jaka has been put down af­ter vets found a large in­op­er­a­ble tumour in his in­tes­tine.

Auck­land Zoo se­nior vet man­ager James Chat­ter­ton said the 17-year-old tiger had been unwell for the past few weeks, spark­ing con­cern.

Keep­ers no­ticed Jaka had been los­ing weight de­spite hav­ing an in­creased ap­petite, and blood tests taken last week showed ab­nor­mal­i­ties, he said.

Vet­eri­nary Ser­vices Group ra­di­ol­o­gists joined zoo vets to carry out an ul­tra­sound of Jaka’s ab­domen on Fri­day morn­ing, re­veal­ing the tumour.

The tumour had be­gun to spread through­out his body and there was no treat­ment that could have helped, Chat­ter­ton said.

‘‘Euthanis­ing Jaka was ab­so­lutely the kind­est and only right thing to do.’’

Auck­land Zoo’s car­ni­vore team leader Lau­ren Booth said Jaka was a ‘‘very re­laxed’’ tiger, who was ‘‘very vo­cal, ex­tremely cu­ri­ous and very mo­ti­vated by food’’.

In Au­gust 2015, zoo vets put the 126kg cat un­der gen­eral anaes­thetic to de­ter­mine the cause of a sore paw.

Vets found Jaka had a bone le­sion, sim­i­lar to arthri­tis in an ‘‘older gen­tle­man,’’ Chat­ter­ton said at the time.

Jaka was born in 2000 and came to Auck­land Zoo in 2013.

BEVAN READ/STUFF

Jaka was se­dated for a check-up in 2015 af­ter he started limp­ing and vets found he had a cracked paw and bone le­sion, sim­i­lar to arthri­tis.

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