Colorado Zoo Mourns Death of Amur Tiger After Freak Accident

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado shared some heartbreaking news to Facebook on August 29. Their 2-year-old female Amur tiger, Mila, sadly passed away after a freak accident during a medical procedure.

The gorgeous tiger came from the Toronto Zoo in 2023 on a future breeding recommendation. Amur tigers are critically endangered in the wild with only around 500 individual tigers roaming their native habitats.

Mila had yet to be introduced to the zoo's male tiger, Chewy, because according to the Facebook post, "The team had been working with Mila on several important husbandry behaviors that would allow her to live a life with lots of choice, autonomy and care at the Zoo."

During an examination of the tiger, the zoo team discovered that Mila had an undiscovered severe dental issue. The zoo explains that this was "not just a cavity; and it could not be left untreated, as it was advancing to her sinuses. Left untreated, infections like this can be fatal for animals."

The Facebook post goes on to explain, "on Friday, she voluntarily received the injection of initial anesthesia, then she jumped up on a bench where she began to lay down and peacefully let the anesthetic drugs take effect. Less than a minute after lying down, she slipped off of the waist-high bench, causing a fatal spinal injury. Given the short timeframe from her lying down to her slipping off, it was impossible from a human safety standpoint to stop her tragic fall."

Considering Mila was said to weigh around 270 pounds, it makes sense why trying to catch her would be impossible, especially since it happened so quickly.

@Ann comments, "Wow. How sad. So sorry for her loss. Sympathy to all the docent, keepers and vet staff." @Vicki adds, "I am so sorry and am sending hugs and love to all of you. I greatly appreciate all you do."

Our hearts go out to the zoo staff after this tragic loss. Rest in peace, beautiful girl.

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