The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society mourns the passing of Malayan tiger, Hati. He was 14-years-old.
“Our very observant staff noticed an abnormal bulge in his abdomen and monitored it throughout the day,” explained Nancy Nill, the Zoo’s associate curator. “As it grew larger we determined he needed emergency intervention.”
Hati was in surgery nine days earlier for irritation in his guts. Thursday’s surgery, with the assistance of a team of four specialist surgeons, showed no sign of further damage. However, during recovery he stopped breathing and was unable to be resuscitated. Hati passed away Thursday evening, at the Zoo’s Melvin J. and Claire Levine Animal Care Complex. A necropsy is scheduled for Friday morning.
“From ear infections to stomach problems, he has experienced a host of medical concerns that required multiple anesthetic procedures, since April of this year,” explained Nill.
The AZA Tiger Species Survival Plan® (SSP) has begun researching gastrointestinal issues tigers are experiencing as the species lives longer.
Hati was born at Fort Worth Zoo on December 14, 2002. He came to Palm Beach Zoo from Texas on an (SSP) breeding recommendation in July of 2015. As of last year, there were only four male tigers older than Hati, out of 38 male Malayan tigers in AZA accredited zoos.
“Understandably this an emotional time for keepers, many of whom have been on this chronic illness journey with him since April,” explained Nill. “We’ve lost a member of our family, and we are comforting each other during this time.”
Understandably, however, some are having mixed feelings about the death of this particular tiger, as he caused the untimely death of keeper Stacey Konwiser in April of 2016. Hopefully the zoo will move on from these unfortunate events and continue to educate and entertain visitors for many years to come.