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ZooMontana tiger dies

By Associated Press
Published On: Mar 12 2014 01:21:49 PM MDT
Updated On: Mar 12 2014 02:01:53 PM MDT
zoo montana
BILLINGS, Mont. -

ZooMontana officials say the zoo's 18-year-old Siberian tiger has died, likely due to complications from cancer.
    
Executive director Jeff Ewelt tells The Billings Gazette (http://bit.ly/1esH0yT ) that staffers are devastated over the death of Prince, who had lived at the zoo for a decade.
    
Two weeks ago, zoo staff noticed Prince was limping. When medications didn't help, they put him under anesthesia on Tuesday for an exam. X-rays showed Prince was suffering from significant bone cancer.
    
Ewelt says Prince died after suffering breathing problems while recovering from the anesthesia. The cancer had already spread to his lungs.
    
After further examination, zoo officials believed the tiger only had a few weeks left to live.
    
The average lifespan for an Amur, or Siberian, tiger is about 14 years in the wild and 20 in captivity.