Farewell to Amur Tiger Igor

On Wednesday 25th August 2021 Colchester Zoo were very sad to say goodbye to male Amur Tiger Igor after spending 15 years with us here at the zoo. Igor was born on the 28th of June 2005 and arrived at Colchester Zoo in November 2006 from Vienna Zoo.

The Animal Care Team had been monitoring Igor due to a growth, suspected to be a tumour that he had recently developed on his head. After consulting with the zoo’s veterinary team and following a previous biopsy, the decision was taken for Igor to undergo surgery on Wednesday 25th August 2021 to remove the growth. Unfortunately, during the procedure it became clear that this was an inoperable tumour and therefore the difficult decision was taken to put Igor to sleep.

At 16 years of age, Igor was in the later part of his expected lifespan, and he leaves behind his best friend, female Amur Tiger Anoushka who is just 1 year older than Igor. The pair have been together since Igor arrived at the zoo and, unlike many tigers who prefer a solitary life, this pair were inseparable, spending most of their lives side by side.

In more recent years, Igor had also come to know our other female Amur Tiger, Taiga, who joined us in 2017. In June 2019, Taiga gave birth to three cubs, fathered by Igor – two boys named Mischa and Pasha, and a female named Tatana. Igor’s personality traits live on in his cubs which is a comfort knowing his legacy lives on in these beautiful cats. Now 2 years old, these young tigers will head out to other zoo collections in the hope of helping to increase the population of this endangered big cat species.

The Animal Care Team will continue to closely monitor our other tigers, especially Anoushka, as they adjust to life without Igor. This is a very sad time for the Colchester Zoo staff as we say goodbye to an old friend who we will miss dearly and who has left big pawprints on our hearts.

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