Chanda, a beloved Amur tiger at the Rolling Hills Zoo near Salina, died Monday.
She was 17 and had been diagnosed with renal failure.
“She was a beautiful tiger who had lived a long time,” said Vickee Spicer, director of marketing at the zoo. “She actually, like many cats, had kidney problems. We knew it was going to be any time and we were waiting to see if she would go on her own.”
In the end, the tiger was euthanized. A necropsy is needed, Spicer said.
The tiger was born on May 9, 1996, at the Minnesota Zoo. She came to Rolling Hills in 2004 and lived with a white tiger named Raja.
“The tigers have always been very popular,” Spicer said. “She appeared on our billboards.”
Spicer said Raja has been seen wandering around looking for his partner. He is six months older than Chanda.
“Even though they were not a breeding pair, they were companions,” she said.
Rolling Hills, like each of Kansas’ seven accredited zoos, participates in the the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ species survival plan, which often determines the placement and breeding of animals.
“We probably won’t know anything until spring,” Spicer said. “For now, we plan on keeping tigers as part of our family.”