Swathi, the oldest tiger in captivity in the country, died in the Assam State Zoo here in the wee hours of Sunday. Officials said that she had breathed last owing to her old age. She is 20.
“Swathi was the oldest living tiger till she breathed her last in the wee hours of Sunday. She was not keeping good health for the past few days. She was under special care for quite some time now, and was also failing in eyesight apart from losing weight. She passed away at around 2 AM on Sunday,” Tejas Mariswamy, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) in charge of the Assam State Zoo here, told The Indian Express.
She was given a farewell and carcass was incarcerated inside the Zoo premises in the afternoon.
Swathi was born in Mysuru Zoo in 1998 and was shifted to Guwahati in 2005. She had in her lifespan gave birth to eleven cubs. She had given birth to six cubs while at Guwahati Zoo. Birina, one of the offspring is at Assam state Zoo, while two others born in Guwahati had died in the past few years, one each are currently in the Tata Zoological park in Jamshedput and the Nandanvan Zoo in Raipur (Chattisgarh), DFP Mariswamy said.
While WWF India has put the average life span of a Royal Bengal tiger in the wild between 14 and 16 years, those in captivity have an average life span of 18. Guddu, a Royal Bengal tiger that had passed away in the Kanpur Zoo in 2014, however is known to have lived up to 26 years.With the death of Swati, the Assam State Zoo here is left with four tigers – two Royal Bengal Tigers and two white tigers –, with DFO Mariswamy pointing out all four are females.