Iconic white tiger put down at Bratislava Zoo

Animal had been sick for some time.

An 18-year-old white tigress which had become an iconic attraction at Bratislava Zoo was put down this week.

Zoo officials said the tigress, Shilang, had been in poor health for some time and that worsening pain had left them with no other choice than to put her out of her suffering.

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“Her state of health was intensively monitored by veterinarians who decided that euthanasia was necessary,” the Bratislava Zoo told the TASR news agency. "We had observed a worsening of her condition in the last two weeks."

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Shilang, who had been born in 2005 in the Cerza - Lisieux Zoo in France, had been suffering from a kidney disease and arthritis, which increasingly complicated her movement.

The animal, which came to Bratislava as a yearling, gave birth to ten cubs while at the zoo. All were moved to other zoos.

Bratislava Zoo no longer plans to breed white tigers, pointing out that many other zoos have done the same amid concerns over inbreeding programmes for the animals in captivity.

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