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Memphis Zoo Bengal tiger, Orissa, dies after battle with cancer

Orissa, a nearly 15-year-old white Bengal tiger at the Memphis Zoo, died Friday, Jan. 26, 2021...
Orissa, a nearly 15-year-old white Bengal tiger at the Memphis Zoo, died Friday, Jan. 26, 2021 after a battle with cancer.(Memphis Zoo)
Updated: Feb. 3, 2021 at 4:51 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Zoo is mourning the loss of one of its big cats.

Orissa, a white Bengal tiger, died last week.

According to the zoo, Orissa was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma last June. She was euthanized Friday just shy of her 15th birthday.

Orissa was surrounded by her keepers as she passed. They described her as “wonderful to work with and a joy” to care for.

“She was affectionate and had a ‘chuff’ waiting for her keepers every morning,” reads a statement from the zoo posted to Facebook. “Even when she started to feel the effects of cancer, she remained sweet and outgoing. She was always excited to participate in training sessions and loved going out on to her exhibit and taking a swim in the moat.”

We are saddened to announce the loss of our beautiful white Bengal tiger, Orissa. In June of last year, Orissa was...

Posted by Memphis Zoo on Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Orissa came to the Memphis Zoo in 2006. They say she was an “incredible ambassador to her species.”

According to the zoo, the average life span of tigers in human care is 14 to 15 years old.

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