DREAMWORLD’s oldest Bengal Tiger Rama has been euthanised after being diagnosed with kidney failure.
The 19-year-old male tiger was the last surviving member of one of four tiger cubs born at the Gold Coast theme park in 1998. The litter was Dreamworld’s first, dubbed the “Awesome Pawsome”.
After struggling with arthritis and kidney failure in recent months, Rama was humanely put to sleep last night.
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Rama lived long past the average wild tiger life expectancy of 10 to 12 years and was the eldest of 11 tigers living on Dreamworld’s Tiger Island.
The tiger is the second to die at Dreamworld this year after his sibling Sita, 18, died from kidney failure in May.
Dreamworld’s general manager of life sciences Al Mucci said Rama was a “strong-willed”, “confident” and “sometimes cheeky” cat.
“Rama had been suffering arthritis in recent months and had recently been diagnosed with kidney failure, meaning that he was unable to eat his food,” Mr Mucci said.
“Experts agreed that it was in Rama’s best interest to not prolong his life any further.
“After consultation with an external specialist feline veterinarian, steps were taken to humanely bring Rama’s suffering to an end.
“He was dearly loved by his Dreamworld family and will be remembered for his strong-willed, sometimes cheeky behaviour, and his love of running, jumping and swimming on Tiger Island, as well as strolls with his handlers around the park each morning.”
Despite being the most common of all tiger species, the Bengal tiger is considered endangered, with just around 2,000 Bengals thought to be left in the wild.
Over the years, Dreamworld has raised more than $2 million to support global conservation and anti-poaching programs.
“This money goes towards supporting conservation initiatives as well as anti-poaching teams, forest patrols and revegetation programs in Russia, Sumatra and Nepal,” Mr Mucci said.
“As the last surviving member of the first litter born at Dreamworld, which included the late Sita, Sultan and Taj, Rama played an important role in raising awareness for the plight of tigers in the wild.
“[Rama] has been an ambassador for his wild cousins, with contributions from his tiger walks and guest photos going towards the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation to support tiger conservation.
“Dreamworld is very proud of the results our partners are achieving on the frontlines of tiger conservation and we will continue to do everything we can as a committed wildlife conservation foundation to protect and save these precious animals from extinction in the wild.”