Hani the Siberian tiger at Greater Vancouver Zoo.

Tiger died of heart disease

The preliminary results of the necropsy indicated an accumulation of fluid and fibrin in the chest.

After an extensive and thorough investigation the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove have the final results of the necropsy for Hani the Siberian Tiger.

Dr. Bruce Burton, the zoo’s veterinarian said, “The preliminary results of the necropsy indicated an accumulation of fluid and fibrin in the chest. This pathological finding is most often caused by an infection. However, upon closer inspection, this turned out not to be the case with Hani.

“She died as a result of significant left-sided heart failure caused by an unclassified form of cardio-myopathy, a chronic and poorly understood genetic disease of the heart muscle.  And it was this underlying problem which caused the build up of fluid. Many domestic cats and some breeds of dogs suffer from similar forms of cardiomyopathy and it is almost always associated with sudden death.

“Sadly, there are no warning signs with this disease and no successful treatment protocols. It is important to realize that all animals, both wild and domestic, can have fatal genetic, congenital or acquired problems which we are powerless to treat,” said Burton.

Zoo spokesperson Jody Henderson added, “We would like to thank Dr. Ann Britton, an independent veterinary pathologist for all her dedication and hard work with the investigation; along with others at the Animal Health Centre. Lastly, as always thanks to Dr. Bruce Burton for his thoughtful and sincere efforts.”

Burton also noted that, “We all miss Hani very much, but are comforted to know there was nothing we could have done to have either prevented or treated her condition.”

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