Oregon Zoo tiger suffers apparent seizures, dies

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photoNicole, 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.

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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.