Kita, who lived for 19 years, leaves a legacy of 21 descendants
CBC News Posted: Oct 08, 2014 10:54 AM MT Last Updated: Oct 08, 2014 11:32 AM MT
Kita, a female Amur tiger who lived at the Calgary Zoo for most if its life, has died at the age of 19. (Calgary Zoo)
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The Calgary Zoo’s elderly matriarch tiger has died at the age of 19.
Kita, who arrived at the zoo in 1999 from Toronto, was showing signs of old age, including arthritis.
She leaves behind a legacy of 21 descendants — representing about four per cent of the total captive population of endangered Amur tigers, the zoo said in a statement on its website.
“In total, Kita gave the Amur tiger population five kids, eight grandkids, five great-grandkids, and three great-great-grandkids, residing across North America and Europe,” the zoo said.
“Ever the feisty feline, she was beloved by keepers and visitors alike, and was recognizable due to her large stature and playful nature.”
There are only about 350 Amur tigers left in the wild and about 500 in captive populations, the zoo said.
The average life span for a female Amur tiger is 14.