'Playful' tiger named Katja put down after 19 years at Calgary Zoo

The Calgary Zoo has put down a 19-year-old Amur tiger suffering from ovarian cancer and related issues.  

The zoo's veterinary team examined Katja on Monday night, after they noticed sudden behavioural changes, including decreased activity levels and appetite, said the zoo in a release.

They determined that her health changes would severely detract from her quality of life and euthanized her. A necropsy performed Tuesday morning determined the cause of her illness to be ovarian cancer. 

In the release, the zoo described her as a "playful tiger who was always keen to interact with her human caregivers," and said the zookeepers and veterinary team in charge of her care are devastated by the loss. 

Katja spent her entire life at the Calgary Zoo, birthing three tigers for the Species Survival Program.

Calgary Zoo