Sumatran tiger euthanized at Zoo Atlanta

Zoo officials said the tiger, named Jalal, was euthanized Thursday just two weeks shy of his 17th birthday.

The zoo decided to end the tiger's life due to "a recent decline in his health," zoo president and CEO Raymond King said in a news release.

Born June 14, 1993 at Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Jalal was among the oldest male Sumatran tigers in a zoo. He arrived at Zoo Atlanta in April 1998, and is survived by one offspring, Bahagia, born at the zoo in 2000 and since moved to the Sacramento Zoo.

Fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers are believed to remain in the wild. The "critically endangered" species is threatened by habitat ruin and by poaching for traditional medicines.

Though the death was planned, a customary necropsy will be performed by the University of Georgia's Department of Pathology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, with results available in several weeks.

Jalal was not the only Sumatran tiger at Zoo Atlanta. A female Chelsea, 6, and a male Kavi, 9, also live there. A new habitat for them will open June 11, zoo officials said.

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