JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is mourning the death of one its Sumatran Tigers.
Lucy, a 12-year-old tiger born at the Oklahoma City Zoo in July 2011, lived at the Jacksonville Zoo since 2013.
The zoo said she was one of the first tigers to live in the award-winning Land of the Tiger exhibit.
Of Lucy’s death, the zoo said the following:
“Lucy had a complicated health history. Thanks to joint efforts between hospital and animal care teams, along with countless hours of successful treatment attempts from care specialists, she would bounce back from many rounds of illness. A necropsy exam revealed signs of sepsis, or bloodborne infection, as the likely cause of death.”
During her time at the zoo, Lucy raised two litters of cubs, including Kinleigh Rose, Rocky, and Jaggar. All of her cubs “are grown and all doing well in other institutions,” the zoo said.
“Lucy was not just a tiger, but a cherished member of our Zoo family. Her playful nature made her a favorite among our guests, and her presence inspired countless visitors to become advocates for tigers and wildlife conservation,” Kelly Rouillard, Director of Sales and Marketing at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, said in a news release. “Our dedicated team of medical experts provided her with the best care throughout her time with us, and we are devastated by her sudden loss.”
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“Throughout her time at the Zoo, Lucy played a vital role in conservation education. She helped raise awareness about the plight of Sumatran tigers and the importance of protecting their natural habitats,” David Hagan, Chief Life Sciences Officer of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, said in the release. “We remain committed to our conservation efforts and will continue working tirelessly to advocate for the protection of these animals.”
The Jacksonville Zoo said Sumatran tigers are the smallest of the tiger subspecies and face numerous threats, including habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict. There are estimated to be less than 600 Sumatran tigers remaining in the wild, many of which live in national parks and other protected areas.