Rolling Hills Zoo lost a very special animal Monday. According to the zoo, Chanda the female Amur tiger, died Monday from renal failure. She was 17 years old.
Chanda was born at the Minnesota Zoo on May 9, 1996. She came to Rolling Hills Zoo on June 2, 2004 at the age of eight. Chanda was the beautiful female who shared the exhibit with the white tiger, Raja. Together, Raja and Chanda were an incredibly popular attraction to zoo guests, and provided a wonderful opportunity for visitors to learn about this highly endangered cat.
“Chanda and Raja have always been two of our superstars here at the zoo”, explains Vickie Musselman, Head Keeper at Rolling Hills. “As one of the zoo’s favorites, she will be greatly missed by the keepers, staff, zoo members, and visitors”.
The Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is also known as the Siberian, Manchurian, Altaic, Korean, North China, or Ussuri tiger. All six types of tigers, Bengal, Amur, Sumatran, South China, Malayan, and Indochinese, are endangered. According to some estimates, fewer than 5,000 tigers may be left in the wild. Other biologists feel that the number may be lower – around 3,000 animals surviving in the wild.
At the age of 17 -1/2, Chanda had lived a substantial period of time, with the median age of a tiger in captivity being 16 to 18 according to the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.