‘A devastating loss’: 2nd endangered Amur tiger cub dies at Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo says a second Amur tiger cub was “humanely euthanized” on Friday after complications with the cub’s heart.

Mazy, one of the endangered tigers at the zoo, gave birth to three cubs on April 30th. A week later, the first cub passed away after he was in a coma.

The second cub, Small, was being closely monitored since she was born, and the team found she was not gaining weight.

“Our world-class team investigated further and learned she had an enlarged heart that we suspected was contributing to her slow development,” the zoo wrote online.

After additional testing, a veterinary cardiologist confirmed Small was suffering from several birth defects in her heart, which included a hole between the main chambers, leaking valves, and abnormal confirmation of her blood vessels, and there was too much blood pumping to her lungs.

“This condition would ultimately result in heart failure and severe respiratory issues. ‘Small’ went for further examination this morning where a heart ultrasound and a CT scan were performed confirming the severity of these defects,” the zoo says, adding the defects in Small’s heart were deemed too complex to be repaired.

“The difficult decision to end her life peacefully was made following many days of careful assessment, during which we gave ‘Small’ the best chance at survival while also ensuring her quality of life was not compromised,” the zoo says.

The team at the Toronto Zoo calls Small’s death a “devastating loss.”

It says Big, the remaining cub, is growing rapidly, and Mazy, “continues to be an attentive and cooperative mom as our team keeps a close eye on the cub.”

Toronto Zoo CEO, Dolf DeJong, had previously said Amur tigers are under increasing pressure due to habitat loss and illegal hunting, and that it’s important to educate the public on the animal’s plight in the wild so people can help to mitigate threats the tigers face, to stop the declining population.

Since 2007, Amur tigers have been on the endangered list.

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