ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A 16-year-old Bengal tiger that has lived at the BioPark Zoo since it was a cub has died after staff discovered bleeding in her mammary glands and a mass in her lungs.
Zoo officials said Wednesday that the tiger, Lucy, was given anesthesia for an x-ray and did not recover from it, so veterinarians euthanized her.
Zoo officials say staff is saddened at the news. Lucy is described as a feisty, adventurous tiger who loved her zookeepers.
In a news release issued Wednesday, senior zookeeper Valarie Chavez said, “She was the sweetest tiger to her keepers.”
Veterinarians suspect Lucy developed the mass in her lungs due to her age, as Bengal tigers typically live 15-20 years in captivity and 8-10 years in the wild.
KRQE News 13 will provide more details as they become available.