A beloved and “charismatic” white tiger is dead after an unexpected and unusual incident at a North Carolina Conservators Center. According to the non-profit organization, the tiger, named Arthur, died during a routine training exercise when he choked on a piece of meat.
On March 29, the Conservators Center recounted the tragedy:
Arthur was being fed pieces of boneless meat by our keeping staff and began choking. When a cat is choking, they will attempt to cough up the obstruction and clear their airway. When that was unsuccessful, Arthur quickly lost consciousness. Our personnel attempted everything possible to save Arthur, but were unable to revive him.
Arthur joined the Center when he was just three months of age – weighing just nineteen pounds and being “severely underweight.” He was moved next to a habitat with a disabled lioness named Kira and the two quickly bonded. The organization wrote:
We made the careful choice to introduce them into the same habitat, and they acted as ‘physical therapists’ for each other — the exercise improved Arthur’s appetite and helped Kira build muscle mass in her hips. Their unlikely companionship delighted and inspired thousands of visitors and was the basis for a beautiful children’s book.
Everyone who knew Arthur is in a state of shock and grieving over his unexpected demise. The Center wrote:
This is incredibly difficult for our entire Conservators Center family, many of whom have known Arthur nearly his entire life. But he was so immediately likable and expressive that this grief touches all of us, even those who have only known him for a short time. Losing an animal is always painful, but Arthur was special, and the pain of losing him is particularly sharp. We take comfort in knowing that he spent his life here surrounded by the utmost love and care every single day.
Rest in peace Arthur.
(Image via the Conservators Center)
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