Zoo tiger that attacked woman more than a decade ago put down

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Veterinarians have euthanized an Amur tiger after the cat's health quickly deteriorated, Zoo Boise officials say.

Zoo Boise says on its Facebook page that veterinarians put down Taiga on Tuesday.

"Taiga's health had quickly declined in the last few days and he had not responded to veterinary treatment," a post on the Facebook page states.

Taiga gained national attention back in August of 2000 when he slipped out an open gate and attacked a woman, who was attending a zoo fundraiser.

An off duty police officer shot his gun in attempt to warn the tiger, but after the bullet hit the cage it ricocheted and struck the woman in the thigh. The woman made a full recovery.

Zoo Boise says Taiga was suffering from renal failure and had large tumors along his spleen. Taiga was 15 years old and had been at the zoo since 1999 after coming from the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.

"The tigers are one of the most popular animals at Zoo Boise. "Everyone at the zoo is saddened by Taiga's passing," said Steve Burns, Zoo Boise's director.

Two other tigers still live at the zoo. Amur tigers, Zoo Boise says, typically live 10-12 years in the wild and 12-18 years in captivity.

Watch a report from Aug. 2000