Washington Park Zoo announces death of beloved tiger, Stars

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. - Officials with the Washington Park Zoo announced Monday that the zoo's beloved tiger, Stars, was euthanized after suffering from chronic kidney disease.

Stars, 18, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease a few weeks ago.

Zoo staff had been closely monitoring Stars since the diagnosis.

The decision to euthanize him was based on his extreme medical condition before his quality of life declined further, according to zoo staff.

Born at a zoo in Iowa on October 15, 2004, Stars came to the Washington Park Zoo with his brother, Stripes, in 2005.  

"Stars will be greatly missed, as he was a 'favorite of guests and staff', and an incredible ambassador for his species," zoo staff said. "It is always a very emotional time for us with the loss of any animal, but we are happy knowing that Stars shared an important conservation message with thousands of zoo guests as he lived a long full life alongside his brother, Stripes."

The life span of tigers in the wild is typically between 10 and 15 years, according to zoo staff. Tigers can live up to 20 years in human care, they said.

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