Zena, the much-loved white tiger that called the Isle of Wight Zoo home for over 20 years, has passed away.
The difficult decision to put the 21-year-old tiger to sleep was taken this morning (Friday) following age-related health issues.
Zena arrived at the Sandown zoo aged just 3-weeks-old after she was rejected by her mother at Longleat Safari Park. The zoo’s CEO, Charlotte Corney, took on the role of foster mum caring for Zena together with her older sister, Zia.
In her youth, Zena relished her beach walks and took pleasure in trying to ‘kill’ the crashing waves by pouncing on and biting them.
She shot to global fame 10 years ago when she stole the limelight in the ITV series, ‘Tiger Island’ which followed the removal of her right eye, due to glaucoma, and laser surgery on her remaining eye.
Charlotte Corney has said:
“Zena curled up and went to sleep in our hearts for the last time today, and that’s where she will remain. She was surrounded by deep affection from her big sister, Zia, her tiger friend, Aysha, and her human family both here at the zoo and within the wider community.
“We will learn to live without her safe in the knowledge that her legacy will forever burn brightly through our commitment to provide lifelong homes and friendship to tigers and other big cats who are dependant on human care.
“We would like to thank everyone who supported and cared for Zena for helping us to ensure she that had a life filled with warmth and love”.