PORTLAND – A 15-year-old tiger passed away Monday at the Oregon Zoo after suffering an apparent seizure.
Amur tiger ‘Nicole’ died shortly after noon, said Oregon Zoo spokeswoman Marcia Sinclair.
Animal care staff tried to revive her, but were unsuccessful. The cause of Nicole’s death remains unknown.
Zoo staff will conduct a necropsy, which is the equivalent of an animal autopsy to determine why she died.
“Nicole was adored by everyone who knew her,” said Kim Smith, zoo director. “She was an especially affectionate tiger, but had just enough spunk to let her brother know she was the one in charge. I know many of our visitors had a special connection with her and it’s clear she will be missed.”
Nicole and her brother ‘Mikhail’ were born at a zoo in Michigan in 1998 and moved to the Oregon Zoo in 2000.
Sincliar said ‘Nikki’ loved cool weather, playing with Mikhail and often would roll on her back for attention if her keepers were nearby.
The average life expectancy of a female Amur tiger is around 14 years old.