Oregon Zoo tiger suffers apparent seizures, dies



Nicole, an Amur tiger, grooms herself in 2010 at the Oregon Zoo in Portland. Zoo officials announced March 24 that Nicole had died at age 15.

PORTLAND — Oregon Zoo officials in Portland say a 15-year-old female Amur tiger named Nicole has died after suffering apparent seizures.

The Oregonian reports that Zoo Director Kim Smith says a visitor reported the tiger was in trouble about noon Monday. Zoo staff cleared the Tiger Plaza area of visitors and brought in a veterinary van. Vet staffers climbed to the roof of the tiger exhibit while keepers enticed Nicole’s brother, Mikhail, to an indoor enclosure.

Smith says vet staff saw Nicole’s seizures stop — and then she died.

The director says a necropsy found hemorrhaging and other irregularities in the tiger’s brain. Otherwise, she looked healthy. A cause of death has not been determined.

The zoo says the median life expectancy for Amur tigers is 16 years for males and 14.3 years for females.