Colchester: Zoo’s ‘much-loved’ white tiger dies

A WHITE tiger which became one of the most popular attractions at Colchester Zoo has died aged 15.

Much-loved Sasha died in his sleep yesterday (Wednesday) morning after two weeks of illness where he displayed a number of concerning symptoms, including a loss of appetite, general lethargy and a small haemorrhage of the nose.

After becoming ill Sasha was anaesthetised and was given a full physical examination including a series of x-rays to try and determine the cause.

Zoo vet Dr John Lewis performed the examination alongside zoo management, keepers and an assistant veterinary surgeon.

X-rays revealed that Sasha was showing symptoms of spinal arthritis, not uncommon in large cats of his age and he was put onto a treatment and management programme for the condition.

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An oral examination also revealed an injury to the soft palate at the back of the throat which was certainly part of the cause of the haemorrhage through his nose.

Anthony Tropeano, zoological director, said: “Unfortunately, despite the medical programme and further treatment with steroids, Sasha made relatively little progress.

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“Based on the evidence we had gathered from the investigations last week it was felt that we should explore every possible treatment whilst taking into consideration his welfare.

“Sadly despite the best efforts of the zoo’s veterinarians, management and keepers we have been unable to prevent his tragic loss.

“It is felt that other factors than those revealed in the physical examination may be at play here and a full post mortem will be carried out to determine the cause of death.

“Sasha was one of the most popular animals at Colchester Zoo and he will be very sadly missed indeed, not only by his dedicated keepers but the many visitors who knew and loved him.”

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