Beloved tiger dies after developing health problems at Alabama zoo

Published 9:35 pm Monday, May 15, 2023

A 19-year-old Bengal tiger who lived the bulk of his life at an Alabama zoo died this week after developing renal failure, zoo officials said.

Rani, had come to the zoo as a cub, and had grown old and was believed to have been blind, had significant hearing loss and recently developed renal failure. As her condition worsened zoo keepers decided she needed to be euthanized to end her suffering. At 19 years old, zoo officials said Rani’s age was equivalent to a 90 to 95-year-old human.

Her brother, Rajah, died recently of old age as well.

“Rani came to us as a little cub and lived at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo her entire life. The staff caring for her describe her as sassy, full of attitude, and were honored to take care of her,” said Joel Hamilton, Executive Director. “Her presence at the Zoo not only brought joy to the staff and our guests but helped educate our guests of how important it is to take care of wildlife and preserve our planet.”

Zoo officials said Rani loved to destroy boxes, sit in her water tub, and tease her brother. Sometimes she would even aggravate Rajah while he was sleeping and then act innocent when he woke up. She was a character, and her antics will be missed.

The Bengal tiger is considered endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened species. The loss of habitat and prey, caused by human expansion, poaching and illegal wildlife trade are the largest threats to tigers in the wild.