A tiger believed to have sustained a spinal cord injury when hunting a boar has died in Russia's Far East, a spokesman for the tiger special inspection said Sunday.
The big cat, nicknamed Amur, was found crawling across the taiga in the Amur Region in late January. The tiger was then sent for a medical examination to a local tuberculosis dispensary which has a scanner big enough to support his weight.
"Unfortunately, on Sunday night the tiger who we all had tried to save died despite all the efforts of the veterinarians," said the spokesman for the tiger inspection, a special department of the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Last week, the tiger was taken to a safari park in the Primorye Territory. The animal was later sent to a circus in Vladivostok for a treatment after it underwent a second scanning. However, the tiger's condition did not improve.
The Amur Region administration named neurosurgery as a possible treatment for the tiger.
Eight foreign veterinarians and several Russian specialists said the tiger cannot be healed and should be put to sleep to put it out of its suffering, as it is likely in considerable pain, Amurpravda.ru news website said.
The Amur tiger is an endangered species, with only some 450 extant in the wild, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. The animal is the focus of an intense conservation effort spearheaded by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Not all humans are willing to put in as much effort to spare animals from being put to sleep. Last Sunday, a healthy young giraffe in a Copenhagen zoo was killed, autopsied and fed to the lions – all in public view – as a genetic undesirable whose existence could lead to inbreeding.