The Palm Beach Zoo announced Tuesday the loss of its matriarch Malayan tiger, 14-year-old Berapi Api.
The zoo's oldest female passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones, said a release issued by the zoo.
"While kidney failure is common in geriatric cats, unfortunately, there is no cure," explained Dr. Genevieve Dumonceaux, the Zoo's director of animal health.
Berapi was born on December 23, 2003. She gave birth to three male Malayan tiger cubs in 2011, Jaya, Bunga and Penari. Zoo officials say these births were very significant, since there are less than 300 Malayan tigers left in the wild.
"Berapi's life story is a huge part of the Malayan tiger genetic population," said Dr. Dumonceaux.
The zoo has now two Malayan tigers, Berapi's daughter, Api, and its male Malayan tiger Kadar.
"Api and Kadar are now in rotation in the Henry & Charlotte Kimelman Tiger River habitat," said Dr. Dumonceaux. "It is important that they share a common space so that Kadar can sense changes in Api's cycle."
The zoo hopes that Api and Kadar will mark the beginning of a new generation of tigers for their species.
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