ALPINE, Calif. — An original tiger housed at Lions, Tigers & Bears in Alpine has died, the sanctuary announced Wednesday.
Natasha had been in declining health recently and died at the age of 19. The tiger’s right eye was removed in a procedure earlier this year, and she suffered from chronic renal disease.
Sanctuary founder Bobbi Brink said the “one tough cookie” suffered from arthritis most of her life and survived a bout with uterine cancer in 2011.
Natasha and her mate, Raja, were rescued in 2002 from Texas where they were kept in a 6-by 12-foot chain-link cage with concrete floors, and no shade or shelter to protect them from often harsh elements.
She gave birth to a pair of cubs within one month of their arrival.
Raja and one of the offspring died in 2013.
Brink said a memorial service would be held in a couple weeks