Tiger’s Death at Solo Zoo Brings 2014 Toll to Four, Including Two Orangutans

JANUARY 02, 2015

A female Sumatran tiger has died at Jurug Zoo in Solo, the fourth animal to die there in 2014, zoo officials said earlier this week.

The tiger, named Vici, was born at the zoo 10 years earlier and died on Monday evening.

Zoo director Lilik Kristianto said the animal was not known to have suffered any illness prior to losing its appetite last Saturday.

He said that the zoo’s veterinarian injected the tiger with vitamins and antibiotics after it inexplicably stopped eating, in a bid to revive its appetite, based on recommendations from tiger experts.

“The tiger normally ate four chickens per day before it lost its appetite. It had never given any indications of suffering from a disease before,” Lilik said.

The injected supplements did not work, and the tiger died two days later.

An autopsy was then carried out by the zoo’s veterinarian, Nuraini, who found high amounts of fluid in the animal’s lungs and heart, as well as “abnormalities” in its digestive tract. Nuraini did not elaborate, but said all the organs were sent to experts at Gadjah Mada University in neighboring Yogyakarta for tests and analysis.

Vici was the fourth animal to die at the zoo this year, raising questions about the quality of care and the conditions in which the animals are kept.

In May, a 9-year-old female orangutan died of dysentery here, seven months after it was moved from a zoo in Bangka-Belitung province in its native Sumatra.

In June, another orangutan, an 11-year-old male who had been brought to the zoo after being rescued from a house in Pati, Central Java, where it had been kept as an illegal pet, died of a liver infection.

That same month, a 19-year-old lion died in the zoo’s quarantine cage, where it had been placed following spinal problems that prevented it from moving properly.

The Solo Natural Resources Conservation Agency has sought expert help to determine the cause of the tiger’s death. Ari SusantoTiger’s Death at Solo Zoo Brings 2014 Toll to Four, Including Two Orangutans