In a “rare accident” at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Mila, a 2-year-old Amur tiger, tragically lost her life. The young tiger was being prepared for a dental surgery when she suffered a fatal fall.
Mila, who had been transferred to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo from the Toronto Zoo in March, was set to undergo a dental procedure due to a severe dental issue, as reported by 9 News, an NBC-affiliated media outlet.
The procedure began with Mila voluntarily receiving an anesthesia injection. After the injection, she laid down on a bench, waiting for the anesthesia’s effects to take hold.
However, a minute later, Mila slipped off the bench, sustaining a fatal spinal injury. Despite the zoo medical team’s efforts, which lasted approximately 40 minutes, they couldn’t save her.
Mila, an Amur Tiger, Dies in Unusual Accident at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Dr. Eric Klaphake, the chief veterinarian at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, conveyed the challenging decision they faced: to anesthetize Mila for the necessary dental care, despite the risks, or potentially jeopardize her well-being.
The zoo stated in a press release: “Given the short timeframe from her lying down to her slipping off, it was impossible from a human safety standpoint to stop her tragic fall,”.
The Colorado Springs zoo has expressed its commitment to taking measures to prevent similar accidents in the future.
“We feel a huge responsibility for all of the animals in our care, and we especially feel for Mila, her current and past caretakers and the people in Toronto who loved her from her birth as the only survivor in her litter,” Chastain said. “Not only was she an internationally beloved individual who defied the odds as a cub and survived to adulthood, but she was here on a mission to save her own species.”
It’s crucial to note that Amur tigers are critically endangered. Currently, only about 500 exist in the wild, and 100 in zoos.
With information from 9 News