Tiger at Houston Zoo named Satu dies at 18

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Zoo said a female Malayan tiger who was humanely euthanized Monday lived to 18 years, which was six to eight years longer than the average life expectancy in the wild.

On Tuesday, the zoo posted to its blog announcing the death of Satu. The zoo said staff made the decision to euthanize the feline after her quality of life began to decline.

In spite of somber announcement, the zoo stated that Satu had lived past her life expectancy through quality care and continuous advances in veterinary medicine.

The zoo added since felines enter advanced aging, there is a high risk for geriatric complications.

"When caring for aging animals, we first do everything in our power to make sure they have a great quality of life," said Lisa Marie Avendano, vice president of animal operations at the Houston Zoo. "We manage their diet and exercise, as well as their medication if necessary. It is never an easy decision to euthanize an animal, but it is one we make with the animal's well-being as the top priority. With world-class animal keepers, five incredible veterinarians, and a complete veterinary clinic, our animals receive the best care possible, and that includes end-of-life decisions."

According to the zoo, the staff kept her limber with daily stretching and monthly laser acupuncture sessions, among other methods.

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