Rolling Hills Zoo is mourning the loss of one of its newer arrivals.
According to the zoo, they are grieving the loss of one of their Amur tiger triplets. Luka, the male of the three, passed away while undergoing an exam to address some dental issues he was experiencing which affected his ability to consume his diet.
Luka’s body has been transported to K-State for a necropsy to determine his cause of death.
“A loss like Luca’s is simply gut wrenching,” shared Bob Jenkins, Rolling Hills Zoo’s Executive Director. “While all losses are devastating, ones like this hits the Zoo hard and deep. Investigations are underway to determine the cause of death through a variety of mechanisms as we want to ensure that we don’t have a systemic problem. We will be sharing the results with everyone when they are available.”
Luka was one of three cubs born on August 14, 2019 at Rolling Hills Zoo. The other two are females, Sasha and Nadya. Their mother Andrea, 12 years old, and father, Dhenuka – 10 years old,had arrived at Rolling Hills Zoo on a breeding recommendation by the SSP (Species Survival Plan) a collaborative effort among Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) – of which RHZ is an accredited institution.
Following a successful birth, the three cubs had been fan favorites at the Zoo as guests watched them grow up and celebrate their first birthday this past month.
Weighing in at 250 pounds, Luka was known by his keepers as being the bravest and most curious of the three cubs, and always the first to check things out. Sasha, weighing 200 lbs. like her sister, was always right behind Luka as she tried to keep up with her brother, while Nadya would hang back and be the more cautious of the three.
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Photo courtesy Rolling Hills Zoo – Luka (on the left) and his sister, Sasha (on the right).