Viktor, a 17-year-old Amur tiger at the Erie Zoo, died Saturday morning, according to The Erie Times-News.
Emily Smicker, marketing and event coordinator for the Erie Zoological Society, told the news site that the tiger had undergone a procedure on Tuesday to fix an ingrown claw, perform a general health exam and obtain diagnostics related to mild symptoms of lethargy and lack of appetite. .
Erie Zoo Head Veterinarian Jenna Epstein said in a news release that the procedure was risky but necessary.
“As a geriatric animal, we had to weigh the risk of sedating Viktor,” she said. “But ultimately we determined it was best for his well-being and comfort to move forward with the procedure. Despite our best efforts, he ultimately succumbed to what appears to be a preexisting condition.”
Epstein said Viktor had been exhibiting mild but unusual behaviors, including lethargy and discolored urine. Further tests and a necropsy were needed to determine the cause of death, she said.
Viktor has lived at the Erie Zoo for six years. His caretakers referred to him as “Mr. Floofy because of his fluffy coat and affectionate personality, the Erie Times-News said.
The life expectancy for male Amur tigers is 16 years, the site said, citing the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Viktor’s death comes on the heels of the loss of the lioness Nala, the oldest of three lions at the zoo, who was euthanized on Sept. 12.
“This has been a very challenging time for our zoo family with the passing of both our elderly lioness and now Viktor, especially so close together,” Roo Kojancie, chief operations officer told the News-Times.
READ MORE: Erie Zoo’s African lioness Nala was euthanized