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Another endangered Siberian tiger dies at Seoul Zoo

April 23, 2024 - 16:28 By No Kyung-min
Siberian tiger Taebaek at a zoo in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province. (Seoul Grand Park)

A male Siberian tiger named Taebaek died at a zoo in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province, officials said Tuesday.

According to Seoul Grand Park, the 6-year-old tiger was pronounced dead Friday at its zoo due to critical health conditions suspected to be related to liver disease. Zoo officials said they plan to conduct an autopsy to determine the precise cause of death.

Born in May 2018 alongside siblings Baekdu, Halla and Geumgang, Taebaek appeared to be in good health until recently, when a significant decrease in food intake was observed. During a medical examination on April 15, signs of diminished biliary tract and liver function were noted.

Taebaek's death marks the third death of a Siberian tiger at the zoo within the span of a year. In May last year, a one-year-old female tiger named Parang died after contracting the feline panleukopenia virus, and a 10-year-old male tiger named Suho died from heart disease and heat stroke in August last year.

The largest cat species' typical life expectancy is 15 years.

At risk of extinction, tigers, under their scientific name Panthera tigris, are enlisted in Appendices I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Seoul Grand Park emphasized they are dedicated to conducting routine medical check-ups on their animals, as these creatures often tend to not exhibit signs of deteriorating health.

According to zoo officials, they provided essential medical care, including medications and intravenous fluids, to Taebaek, explaining, "Taebaek had been undergoing regular medical examinations since last February, prompted by a possible indication of health issues observed in his feces."

Following his death, the zoo has set up a memorial service for Taebaek from Monday to Sunday in front of the zoo's tiger exhibition hall.