One of the most famous animals at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium passed away earlier this month. Mai, the 20-year-old, three-legged tiger, was humanely euthanized on April 12 due to declining health.

Mai had been under veterinary care for renal disease over the last year. She had been eating a special diet developed by the zoo's Comparative Nutrition Department to help reduce the effects of renal disease. Animal Care Staff complete a quality of life assessment before deciding to euthanize an animal.

“In addition to dealing with advancing renal disease, this cat recently started to exhibit signs of dementia, indicating that her condition was starting to deteriorate,” said Dr. Julie Napier, the Zoo’s senior veterinarian. “During her time at the Zoo, despite only having three legs, she successfully raised three litters of cubs, making a great contribution to this endangered population.”

A favorite among visitors, Mai came to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in 2003 and was on display in the Cat Complex. She was missing one of her front legs due to an amputation before she arrived at the Zoo.

Mai was also famous for this:

Malayan tigers are listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species due to habitat destruction and poaching. There are an estimated 250-340 Malayan tigers left in the wild. Malayan tigers can live in human care up to 20 years.

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