HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The staff at the Honolulu Zoo said their final goodbyes to Djelita, the world's longest living Sumatran tiger in captivity on Sunday.
The tough decision to euthanize Djelita was made by a panel of the zoo's directors, zoo keepers, veterinary staff and supervisors.
"Old age catches up to everyone, even animals, and although Djelita had a long and healthy life at the zoo, she was displaying signs that lead to a unanimous decision that she was ready to move on," said Honolulu Zoo Director, Dr. Baird Fleming. "The Honolulu Zoo can be proud of its many years of excellent care for Djelita, which was part of a worldwide conservation effort to save Sumatran tigers from extinction."
Djelita came to the Honolulu Zoo from the San Diego Wild Animal Park 24 years ago when she was just 1-year-old. She just turned 25 last month.
Conservation efforts of Sumatran tigers at the Honolulu Zoo will continue with Berani, a male and Chrissie a female. Both are 16-years-old.
Life expectancy for Sumatran tigers in the wild is about 12 years. In captivity, about 20 years.
Throughout the globe, about 200 Sumatran tigers live in zoos as part of a global conservation effort. In all, there are fewer than 500 Sumatran tigers believed to exist.