|Zoo’s Bengal Tiger passes away|
|December 15, 2011|
Kaylee, the Bengal Tiger, who was born at Riverside Zoo in April of 1993, passed away recently. She was a favorite among staff and visitors alike.
SCOTTSBLUFF — It is with great sadness that the Riverside Discovery Center announced the death of Kaylee, the Bengal tiger who was born at Riverside Zoo in April of 1993. She and her white brother, Deshia, both lived at the zoo until he died in 2007.
They were one-half of the last tiger litter produced at Riverside Zoo. Eighteen years is a full life expectancy of a tiger, and most animals live longer in captivity than in the wild.
Laurel Hauf, senior zookeeper at RDC, cared for Kaylee her entire life. Hauf stated, “Kaylee was loved by the public, was a wonderful exhibit animal and a really good animal to work with. She was always glad to see her zookeepers in the morning and would “chuffle” (snort) as a greeting to us all of the time.
According to Zoo Director, Peter Halliday, “We still have two young female Amur (Siberian) tigers at the zoo. We are hopeful we can obtain a breeding recommendation from the AZA tiger Species Survival Program (SSP) for one of them. All species of tigers in the world are endangered, either from loss of habitat or the Chinese oriental medicine trade. Today there are more tigers in captivity than found in all wild places. So the work of the SSP’s are vital for tiger survival.”
There were once nine species of tigers in the world, now there are only six remaining: Amur, Bengal, South China, Indochinese, Sumatran and Malayan.
The two remaining RDC Amur tigers are on permanent display at the Riverside Discovery Center. The RDC is open daily, weather permitting, from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. The RDC will be closed Christmas Day, Dec. 26, New Years Day, and Jan. 2. Call (308) 630-6236 for more information.