A rare white tiger at the Singapore Zoo in Mandai was put to sleep earlier this month after it developed a tumour, leaving just one male behind in the popular enclosure.
Winnie, who was one and a half months shy of being 15 years old, was terminally ill after developing a tumour in her jaw bone and was euthanised on 12 August after the zoo’s keepers and vets found that her condition had worsened over time.
“Recent reassessment has seen worsening of (Winnie’s) tumour and the decision was made to euthanise her to prevent deterioration of her quality of life,” spokespersons for the zoo said in a statement to Yahoo Singapore. “Her keepers and the veterinary team (had) been providing supportive care to her for the past few months to ensure her quality of life (was) maintained.”
Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which runs Singapore’s zoo, Night Safari and River Safari, as well as the Jurong Bird Park, said it is saddened by Winnie’s passing.
She, her sister Jippie and their brother Omar, were born together in Taman Safari in Indonesia, alongside other cubs, and were bred in captivity. They arrived in Singapore on 6 April 2001 when they were a year and seven months old.
White tigers typically have a life span of between 10 to 15 years in the wild, and 16 to 20 years in captivity on average. Winnie lived to the age of 14 years, 10 months and 16 days.
The rare white tiger exhibit has always been popular with visitors to the Singapore Zoo, even though in 2008, Omar and Jippie attacked 32-year-old Nordin Montong, a cleaner, who had voluntarily entered their enclosure and waded toward them.
Nordin’s death was ruled as a suicide in 2009, and the zoo later introduced safety enhancements to more dangerous exhibits including signs, emergency buttons and increased patrols by keepers and staff.
Jippie had previously also fallen terminally ill and was euthanised on 28 March 2012.
Watch Winnie and Omar in action just a month ago in this clip: