Singapore Zoo Icon, Omar the White Tiger, Dies

An icon of Singapore Zoo, Omar the white tiger, has passed on at the age of 18.

He might not have been as famous as the late Ah Meng the Orang Utan, but Omar the white tiger was definitely one of the long-time icons of the Singapore Zoo. Immortalized in waves of photographs capturing him in his finest moments—whether leaping elegantly into the water or lounging stylishly on his rocky outcrop, Omar was as sight to behold.

Omar had been managed on the Singapore Zoo’s senior animal care programme, where healthcare and welfare of senior age animals are customised to promote longevity and quality of life.

Over the last three years, his team of keepers and veterinarians had been monitoring him closely for a melanoma (a type of skin cancer) and degeneration of his joints. They had been providing supportive care to him for the past few months to ensure his quality of life was maintained. Recent reassessment had seen worsening of his health and the difficult decision was made to euthanase him to prevent further deterioration of his quality of life.

Born under human care in Taman Safari, Indonesia, Omar had charmed guests since arriving in Singapore Zoo as a 19-month-old juvenile tiger on 6 April 2001. He would have turned 18 years old in September. In the wild, tigers have an average lifespan of between 10 to 15 years while those under human care live 16 to 20 years on average.

Omar is one tiger less in a world where extinction is a distinct possibility. Recently, Tiger Beer removed the iconic tiger from its logo to bring attention to the plight of the big cats.

Tiger Beer also launched 3890Tigers – part of a six-year global partnership between Tiger Beer and WWF in support of Tx2, a global commitment made by the governments of the 13 tiger range countries to double the world’s wild tiger population to 6,000 by 2022. The six-year partnership kicks off in 2017 with a donation of USD 1M from Tiger Beer.

Singapore Zoo is now home to two white tigers—Pasha and Keysa. The 4-year-old brother-sister duo arrived from Batu Secret Zoo in Indonesia on 15 January 2015.

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