Seattle zoo euthanizes elderly tiger

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SEATTLE (AP) -- A Seattle zoo says it has euthanized a 19-year-old male Sumatran tiger whose health had been declining because of age-related kidney failure and liver disease.

Woodland Park Zoo said the tiger named Rakata (RAH-kah-tah) died Friday.

The zoo says the life expectancy of Sumatran tigers is 18 to 20 years in zoos and 15 years in the wild.

The tiger got a comprehensive health exam earlier this month after zookeepers noticed a sharp decline in his appetite and activity level. A zoo veterinarian, Dr. Kelly Helmick, says the big cat never regained a healthy appetite despite supportive care and treatment.