It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that yesterday, Greg parker and his family made the difficult decision to say goodbye to our beautiful and much-loved Sumatran Tiger, “Maneki , due to aged-related health issues – a decision that was incredibly difficult for our family and team, but the best call for her welfare.
Our animal care team recently noticed changes in Maneki’s behaviour and immediately notified our resident vet, who consulted with other zoo vets, that are also experienced with big cats.
Sadly, it was discovered she had two tumors, which had rapidly developed and would have significantly impacted her quality of life going forward. Our vets will be looking into all the information gathered to ensure we understand the clinical picture in more detail.
Maneki, who would’ve turned 13 years old today, and our other Sumatran Tiger “Satu”, arrived in Ballarat from Australia Zoo two years ago as part of the global breeding program for Sumatran tigers. It is estimated that only about 400 Sumatran tigers remain in the wild today and they are classified as critically endangered by the IUCN. Maneki played an important role both in the breeding program and as a conservation advocate for her wild counterparts.
Maneki is remembered as a playful and social tiger, who often chuffed with affection when she saw her carers who will miss her greatly. Whilst Sumatran tigers often live solitary lifestyles in the wild, the animal care team will focus extra time and attention on supporting Satu’s welfare as he adjusts to the change.
We would also like to thank those who cared so well for Maneki during her time at Ballarat Wildlife Park, she was surrounded by those who loved her and she will be deeply missed.
Our thoughts are also with our friends at Australia’s Zoo who cared for her previously and whose lives she touched.