Mystery of ill-fated Russian tiger and zoo animals in Tehran

Jan 3, 2011
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52 years after Iranian tigers became extinct, a couple of rare Russian tigers, which are believed to be genetically close to the extinct Iranian species, were brought to Iran for breeding and display in Iranian zoo. But the male tiger mysteriously died last Thursday only eight months after transportation to Iran, and the female tiger is also reportedly ill. Iranian media have since speculated over the cause of death. Initially the air pollution in Tehran, which has reached alarming levels recently, was blamed. One zoo official attributed the death to feeding the tiger low grade "donkey meat!" Hamshahri Publication pointed out to the spread of some "pulmonary" disease in Tehran zoo as the cause of sickness and death among animals, including lions.

Yesterday, an Iranian publication (Tabnak) in news titled "moral corruption of Russian tiger" reported that the tiger died of AIDS. Today, a member of the Health and Medication Committee of Iranian parliament reported that the death of the Russian tiger will be investigated by the Parliament.

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