Colorado’s Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Mourns Loss of 2-Year-Old Tiger
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has shared the sad news of the loss of an Amur Tiger at the facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The death of Mila, the two-year-old tiger, has been called a "freak accident".
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's team had been working with Mila to address severe dental issues the Amur Tiger suffering from. Upon inspection of Mila's dental issues, it was discovered that the big cat would need surgery to remedy her issues that were advancing into her sinuses. That is when the team at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo began voluntary injection training.
On Friday, Mila voluntarily took the injection of anesthesia. Once the anesthesia was administered, she jumped onto a bench and started to lie down. Less than a minute after laying down, Mila fell off of the bench, causing a fatal spinal injury. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo said that it was impossible to stop her fall from a human safety standpoint in a press release.
She could have slid off from that height a hundred times and landed in a variety of other positions and been unaffected
Said Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Head Veterinarian, Dr. Eric Klaphake.
These are impossible life-and-death decisions being made in real time by a team that has dedicated their life to the care of animals. Do you anesthetize her despite the risks and give her the dental care she needs? Once you see her slipping, you wonder if you can safely get in there to stop a 270-pound tiger from falling completely. How fast can you safely go in and provide rescue attempts? You can plan and things still go wrong. Our team delivered exactly the right amount of to a very calm tiger who had trained for this moment. We have successfully anesthetized countless tigers in the same den, and never experienced an accident like this. We never take decisions to anesthetize an animal for a procedure lightly, and this is a tragic example of why.
Bob Chastain, President and CEO of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo said in the press release.
Mila, the two-year-old Amur Riger came to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in March 2023 from the Toronto Zoo. Her move to the Colorado zoo was made after Mila showed signs of needing her own space away from her mother and future breeding recommendations. Mila will be missed dearly by Cheyenne Mountain Zoo staff and we are keeping them in our thoughts after this tragic accident.
Source: Cheyenne Moutain Zoo