SF Zoo Loses Much Beloved Creature

By Lori Preuitt
|  Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010  |  Updated 10:30 AM PDT
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Animals in the News

Susan L. Pettitt

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Sad news from the San Francisco Zoo: they have put down one of their most beloved animals.

Tony the Tiger was euthanized Tuesday. 

The decision to do so went all the way to top with the zoo's director weighing in along with other experts.

They say Tony reached a point where his quality of life was so diminished that euthanasia was the only humane option.  He had been declining in health in recent months that forced him to move out of his outdoor public moat home.  He did well in his new inside home for awhile, but had episodes of dementia and weakness in his back legs to the point where his caregivers made the decision to end his life.

"Tony was having good days and bad days, but the bad days were becoming more frequent," Jacqueline Jencek said.  She is the chief of veterinary services at the San Francisco Zoo.

Tony was born in Tucson Arizona on March 21, 1992 and came to the San Francisco Zoo on June 30, 1993.

He was an instant favorite and has brought pleasure to tens of thousands of visitors ever since.

People who want to remember and leave condolences for Tony can do so outside his exhibit area.  

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