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Tony, Siberian tiger, dies at the San Francisco Zoo

June 27, 2010 |  3:42 pm

Tony, the San Francisco Zoo's Siberian tiger

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Zoo's beloved Siberian tiger, Tony, has died.

Zoo officials say they euthanized Tony on Tuesday after he refused food and appeared to be disoriented. Tony was suffering from arthritis and collapsing or hitting the side of his enclosure after taking just a few steps.

At 18 years and three months, Tony was the second-oldest male Siberian tiger in North America. The species is endangered and only a few hundred remain around the world.

Zoo officials say Tony will be missed, but they do not plan to replace him.

Director Tanya Peterson says the zoo will instead focus its cat resources on breeding lions.

The zoo still has two Sumatran tigers.

Tony came to San Francisco in 1993, a year after his birth at Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Ariz.

Firefighters help remove Tony, Siberian tiger, from San Francisco Zoo moat
Tigers 'on the verge of extinction' in the wild, official says

-- Associated Press

Photo: Tony at his enclosure in the San Francisco Zoo in 2006. Credit: Susan L. Pettitt / Associated Press

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