10-week-old Sumatran tiger cub Loki dies at London Zoo
01:33 PM March 7, 2022
London Zoo vets have made the ‘heartbreaking’ decision to put down a 10-week-old baby Sumatran tiger following multiple unexplained seizures.
After four seizures, each worse than the last, vets euthanized Loki on February 24.
Sharing the news on ZSL’s website, COO Kathryn England said: “Being responsible for an animal’s welfare sometimes means making decisions that break your heart. But we know we took the right one.
“We had all fallen in love with little Loki and know many of you were too. We wish we had different news for you, but we are so heartened by the outpouring of kindness and compassion you have given us. already shown this week.”
An autopsy is underway and results are expected next week.
Loki was born on December 12 to mum Gaysha and dad Asim.
Part of an original litter of three, the little one’s two siblings unfortunately did not survive the birth.
Ms England said Loki suffered his first seizure on February 18 and was rushed to the veterinary hospital for medication.
The treatment stopped the first seizure, but he needed medication for lethargy which seemed to perk him up.
While plans were made to take him to the Royal Veterinary College, Camden, the little one had two more seizures.
“Again, there was no obvious cause – in fact he had spent a peaceful Sunday snuggled up with Gaysha,” Ms England added.
Loki underwent an emergency MRI, CT scan and several blood tests as well as a lumbar puncture.
“We left nothing out. Through our tests, we ruled out so many things; a brain tumour, infections, parasites – frustratingly, we still had no answers.
“We are considering a presumptive diagnosis of epilepsy – something that can only be confirmed by a process of eliminating all other possibilities.”
His condition seemed to improve on Thursday (February 24) when he spent a quiet morning playing outside with his father.
“Devastatingly, Loki then had another seizure,” she said. “Far more severe than previous ones, the seizure confirmed vets’ worst fears; Loki’s seizures were not going to stop and his health would only decline.”
Ms England added: “We will of course continue our efforts to understand Loki’s condition.”
The autopsy is being carried out “in the hope that we can help another baby tiger – and the future of this critically endangered species”, she said.