The Dallas Zoo has announced the passing of one of its longtime residents, a Sumatran tiger named Paul. He underwent a routine medical procedure yesterday and failed to recover from the anesthesia. Paul had suffered from age-related complications for some time according to Dallas Zoo veterinarian, Dr. Tim Storms.
Paul was 19, which according to a press release is an advanced age for tigers.
“He will be greatly missed by the staff and guests,” said Dr. Lynn Kramer, Deputy Director for Animal Conservation and Science.
Paul was originally from Washington, D.C. where he was born at the National Zoo on March 15, 1992. After a brief stint at the Detroit Zoo he moved to the Dallas Zoo in ’99 to open the ExxonMobil Endangered Tiger Habitat where he lived out the rest of his existence in the $4.5 million home.
What a rock star!
He could often be found soaking in the large pool on a warm day or resting in the shade just below the main viewing building. He loved spending nights outdoors, swimming in the smaller pools and lounging on benches. Loud and fierce in the beginning, he mellowed over the years and became the diplomat of the building,” according to Linda King, Mammal Supervisor at the Dallas Zoo.
King said Paul tolerated two sets of young tigers moving in to share his space until they grew up and moved on. One of those tigers named Sasha visited and vocalized (read: tiger talk) with the old-timer daily.
The only thing he wouldn’t share was, according to zoo officials, his favorite enrichment item -- his pony kegs.
“He defended them for 12 years from every other cat in the building.” explained King.
Paul’s death leaves the Dallas Zoo with three tigers.
Guests who wish to leave a message for Paul and his keepers are welcome to leave notes in memoriam at the Dallas Zoo’s main administration building at the entrance to ZooNorth.