The Minnesota Zoo's oldest tiger, named Molniy, has passed away. He was 16 years old.
Molniy came to the Minnesota Zoo in 2002 from the Detroit Zoo. The Zoo announced Wednesday that the Amur tiger had surpassed the expected lifespan of 10 to 15 years. He died Sunday after being treated for various age-related conditions including arthritis.
"Molniy was a favorite among his zookeepers," said Northern Trail Curator, Diana Weinhardt. "He will be greatly missed by all the staff who worked with him in the 14 years he was here."
The Zoo currently cares for three other tigers: four-year-olds Sundari, who is Molniy's offspring, and Patrice, and six-year-old Putin.
According to the Minnesota Zoo, the largest of all cats and one of six remaining tiger subspecies, the Amur tiger is a top predator of far eastern Asia. Amur tigers are carnivores, eating mostly large mammals such as deer and wild boar. Conservation efforts help protect these endangered animals from the persistent threats of poaching and habitat loss.