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ABQ BioPark Zoo Says Goodbye to Tiger

Long-time zoo resident left his mark on keepers, community

06/09/2016 - The ABQ BioPark Zoo said goodbye to one of its beloved long-time residents, an 18-year-old Bengal tiger named Scout, on Wednesday.

The zoo humanely euthanized Scout due to age-related health issues. He had been losing weight and experiencing a lack of appetite, and the necropsy found advanced liver cancer. 

"Many staff and community members have grown up with Scout," said Tammy Schmidt, ABQ BioPark Curator of Mammals. "He has been a wonderful ambassador to other tigers in the wild from right here in Albuquerque."

She added, "The staff is very emotional at the passing of this regal feline. Everyone will miss him very much."

Scout arrived to the BioPark from North Dakota in 1998. He was a 6-month-old cub at the time.

Scout's outgoing personality endeared him to staff and the public alike. He could often be seen relaxing in his habitat and playing in his pool. Staff said he would show his trust for certain zookeepers by chuffing (a vocalization used by two cats who are greeting each other - zoo-dwelling tigers sometimes use this sound with their keepers as a greeting or to express excitement) and exhibiting rolling and playing behaviors.

The average lifespan of a tiger is 10-15 years in the wild and 16-20 years in captivity.