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Idaho Falls Tiger Dies

Seelni, an Amur tiger at the Tautphaus Park Zoo, was euthanized Tuesday morning.

Seelni was born in February 1994 in Houston and came to the Idaho Falls zoo in 1997 from South Dakota.

?(Eighteen years old) is very old for an Amur tiger,? said Beth Rich, zoo superintendent. ?In the wild, Amur tigers may only live to be around 12 years old, but in a zoo, they tend to live much longer. And aging animals have several of the same medical issues as aging people.?

Seelni had suffered from severe arthritis for the past three years. Zoo staff managed his pain with medication and by making modifications to his exhibit and holding areas. But over the last three weeks, he was having more trouble getting up and moving around his exhibit and holding areas. Even with his pain medication increased, he did not improve, and zoo officials decided to humanely euthanize him, according to a news release.

?This is a difficult time for us,? said Rich. ?We?ve had Seelni for 15 years and are quite fond of him. It?s like losing a member of our family.?

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