Marwell Zoo has announced the death of its much-loved female Amur tiger Milla.
Milla was due to undergo a routine veterinary procedure to fit a new contraceptive implant and have a full health check and vaccinations. Shortly after being placed under general anaesthetic, she stopped breathing and her heart stopped.
Despite every effort, Marwell’s vet team was unable to resuscitate her. Milla, 11, had no known underlying health issues but a full post mortem examination is being carried out.
Milla was born at Zlin Zoo, Czech Republic, on 17 July 2009 and came to Marwell in September 2012. Her mate Bagai arrived in December 2013 and the pair were part of the EAZA Ex situ Programme, an endangered species breeding programme, giving birth to three healthy cubs Makari, Bailla and Zima in May 2016.
Carrie Arnold, Marwell Zoo Carnivores Team Leader, said: “Milla was an extremely charismatic animal; beautiful, confident, savvy and knew exactly what she wanted. She loved laying on her back soaking up the sun. She will be deeply missed by her keepers.”
Amur tigers, found in the Russian far east and north-eastern China, are endangered with less than 500 believed to remain in the wild.