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Potter Park Zoo mourns the loss of critically endangered tiger

16-year-old Sivaki the Amur tiger lived and died at the zoo this week
Sivaki the Amur tiger passes way
Posted at 10:05 AM, Apr 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-03 10:05:56-04

LANSING, Mich. — He’s been a fixture at the Potter Park Zoo for over 15 years, but zoo officials say Sivaki the Amur tiger was put to sleep earlier this week.

The 16-year-old male tiger was born at the zoo in 2005 but recently developed a spinal condition that impacted his quality of life.

The Amur tiger is a breed that is listed as a critically endangered species, and Sivaki sired many cubs while living at the Potter Park Zoo.

Sivaki the Amur tiger, potter park zoo

One zoo official says he had a big personality that matched his big cat presence which he showed off during an enrichment exercise with a deer hide attached to a spring.

“It helps them with their brain. That's why we do enrichment. It helps them with stay healthier. He took the hide off to a corner and he ate the whole thing! (laughs) He’d never done that before," said Education Curator Dennis Laidler.

Sivaki was born at the Zoo and was part of a litter of four tiger cub.

Sivaki the Amur tiger, potter park zoo

Laidler says Sivaki and his siblings were an important part of understanding this tiger species because they all contracted an illness as babies and were treated on-site.

The cubs were vaccinated against the virus and then their blood samples were studied.

It was through that research that scientists discovered the vaccine wore off quicker than they thought.

Sivaki the Amur tiger, potter park zoo

There are only about 500 Amur tigers in the world.

The Zoo is starting the process of getting another tiger.

Laidler said it will take time because the process of getting an Amur tiger is lengthy.

Sivaki the Amur tiger, potter park zoo

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Larry Wallace

Larry Wallace

10:16 AM, Jan 03, 2021

Southside Lansing

Neighborhood Reporter

Larry Wallace

Yasmeen Ludy

Yasmeen Ludy

12:07 PM, Feb 16, 2021

Holt / Dimondale

Neighborhood Reporter

Yasmeen Ludy