Male Sumatran tiger euthanized at Zoo Atlanta

The Atlanta Zoo on Friday announced the death of a Sumatran tiger.

Kavi, a 15-year-old tiger, was euthanized Thursday.

According to zoo officials, the tiger had been treated for arthritis for years. He had mobility issues that led to the rapid decline of his health.

Zoo Atlanta is saddened by the loss of Kavi, who was not only a special member of our family and a magnificent cat, but a representative of a critically endangered species,” said Dr. Hayley Murphy, the zoo's vice president of animal divisions.


Kavi was born Jan. 8, 2001, at Akron Zoo in Akron, Ohio. He was moved to Zoo Atlanta in 2006. He fathered Sohni and Sanjiv, born to Chelsea, in 2011.

At the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Tiger Species Survival Plan, the tiger was moved to Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., where he fathered two cubs, in 2012.

The tiger was moved back to Zoo Atlanta in 2014.

Chelsea, 13, is still housed at Zoo Atlanta. The pair’s offspring, Sohni and Sanjiv, are being kept at other AZA zoos.

Sumatran tigers are classified as critically endangered, with fewer than 300 believed to remain in the wild.

Poaching for traditional medicines and habitat loss and territory fragmentation, largely as a result of slash-and-burn deforestation for palm oil plantations, are the most imminent threats to the species, which is found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, officials said.

A necropsy, or the animal equivalent of an autopsy, will be performed through the zoo’s partnership with the University of Georgia Zoo and Exotic Animal Pathology Service in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Results should be available in several weeks, according to zoo officials.