SINGAPORE: Omar, a white tiger at the Singapore Zoo, died on Wednesday (Jun 7) at the age of 17, according to Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS).
In a media release on Thursday, WRS said the tiger had to be put down after its health worsened.
Omar’s team of keepers and veterinarians had been monitoring it closely for a type of skin cancer called melanoma, which had developed on the tiger's eyelid, as well as for joint degeneration, WRS said.
"Recent reassessment had seen worsening of his health and the difficult decision was made to euthanise him to prevent further deterioration of his quality of life," it said.
Omar was born in captivity in Taman Safari, Indonesia, and arrived at Singapore Zoo on Apr 6, 2001, as a 19-month-old. It would have turned 18 in September, WRS said, adding that tigers in the wild have an average lifespan of between 10 to 15 years, while those in captivity typically live 16 to 20 years on average.
"We will miss Omar, and our thoughts and appreciation go especially to his caregivers, who for so many years took such great care of him," WRS said.
The zoo is now home to two white tigers, a four-year-old brother-sister duo named Pasha and Keysa.