As well as being loved, the animals at Adelaide Zoo are powerful ambassadors for their cousins in the wild. We are therefore deeply saddened to share with you the sudden passing of Rhani, our 13-year-old female Sumatran Tiger.
Rhani’s condition deteriorated rapidly over the weekend with vets taking her to our Animal Health Centre on Sunday morning and discovering that blood loss and aggressive tumours had unfortunately taken over her abdomen. Determining that there was nothing that could be done to save Rhani, our veterinary team decided to humanely euthanise her. Unfortunately as big cats, such as Sumatran Tigers, age they can become more prone to a range of aggressive cancers, which was sadly the case with Rhani. Her passing is a sudden and sad shock to keepers, volunteers and visitors alike.
Rhani arrived at Adelaide Zoo in 2018 and, through her captivating appearances in her exhibit, keeper talks and encounters, was able to educate thousands of visitors about the plight of the Sumatran Tiger in the wild.
While we will all miss her greatly, Rhani’s legacy will continue as will our fight to save species like her from extinction.
Critically endangered, there are believed to only 400 Sumatran Tigers in the wild. The current dangers to their existence are habitat destruction and poaching for the illegal wildlife trade.
As a conservation charity that exists to save species from extinction, we will continue to work tirelessly to make sure tigers are around for generations to come.
Keepers will maintain a regular watch over six-year-old Kembali who, as part of a species which is predominantly solitary, resides in a neighbouring exhibit. It is obviously still very early days but when the time is right we will begin our search with a species coordinator to find a suitable female Sumatran Tiger to pair with Kembali.
We know that, like us, you will miss seeing Rhani at Adelaide Zoo. We thank you for your kindness during this time and invite you, if you wish, to leave your memories of Rhani below as a comfort for our keepers at this very difficult time.