Seneca Park Zoo Amur Tiger, 'Anastasia,' has died

Sep 22, 2017

Credit Lori Whitney-Brice / for Seneca Park Zoo

Officials at the Seneca Park Zoo say that Anastasia, the zoo’s 12-year old female Amur tiger, has died following weeks of illness. 

The tiger, which was born at the zoo in 2005, first showed signs of illness six weeks ago. As her condition declined, the decision was made to euthanize the tiger.

Zoo Director Larry Sorel says after an animal autopsy, or necropsy,  was performed, it was determined that the tiger suffered from lymphatic cancer.

He says the average life span for a tiger at a zoo is about 14 years old.

“That’s equivalent, if you will to a human at 77, that’s sort of the halfway point, half the people die before that, half the people can live longer, so she was at the age where if she was a person, you would start seeing age related disease.”

Sorel says the loss of a tiger, especially one that has lived her entire life at the zoo, is traumatic for zoo staffers.

Anastasia has a sister, Katya, who is still at the zoo, but Sorel says tigers are solitary creatures so he doesn't expect Katya to react to the absence of Anastasia. The decision has not been made yet on whether the zoo will get another tiger.

Amur tigers are listed as being endangered. There are only 540 such tigers remaining in their natural range.