Blair Drummond reveals its only male tiger, Genghis, has been put to sleep

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SCOTLAND’S biggest safari park has revealed that it put down its only male tiger following a “sudden deterioration” in the animal’s health.

Genghis, a 19-year-old Amur tiger, had been seen by thousands of visitors at Blair Drummond Safari Park, near Stirling.

His female penmate, Bela, will now be the only remaining tiger at the park and will stay in the park’s recently updated enclosure for the time being.

Genghis was a favourite at the popular attraction.                                                   Copyright: Blair Drummond Safari Park

Revealing the news on their Facebook page yesterday, Blair Drummond wrote: “It is with the deepest regret, that we have to inform our visitors about the loss of one of our much loved tigers.

“Genghis, who was fast approaching 20 years old, was put to sleep after his health had recently deteriorated.

“Keepers had been monitoring his health along with the park vets, and the tough decision to put him to sleep was made today.”

The statement added: “In the wild the average lifespan of tigers would be 15, so he had done extremely well to reach this age without any health issues until very recently.

“Genghis will be missed greatly by the tiger keepers and the other keepers at the park, as well as our visitors.”

The parks beloved Amur tiger was put to sleep yesterday.                                        Copyright: Blair Drummond Safari Park

They added: “Our remaining tiger Bela will live on her own for the meantime, which for tigers is perfectly natural, as they are solitary in the wild.

“The tiger keepers will continue to give Bela plenty of enrichment, and keep her busy climbing trees and swimming for her food.”

Upset visitors of the park took to the post to pay their respects to the beloved feline.

Katy Poucher said: “Very sad news and condolences to his keepers. He was a great cat who lived a good long life.

“We will miss visiting him but better that he is no longer suffering. RIP Genghis.”

Sue Brace said: “Very sad to hear about Genghis, a beautiful cat and a real character. But he had lived to a great age and you have all looked after him so well at the Park.

Genghis spent his days with his penmate, Bela                                                                                   Copyright: Kelly Rae

“Condolences to all his keepers and the whole team at BDSP. He will be missed.”

And Leeanne Franklyn wrote: “Aw that’s so so sad. RIP Genghis. Had the great pleasure of getting up close to him while experiencing keeper for the day. Sending hugs to his keepers.”

Some visitors of the safari park posted their personal pictures of Genghis to pay tribute to his life.

An image, taken just last week, was shared showing Genghis and Bela showing affection to each other by nuzzling their faces together.

The poignant shot was taken by Kelly Rae, captioned: “Amazing and beautiful animals he had a lovely life with you at Blair Drummond and loomed very well looked after.”

Professional photographer, Nige Hutchison also share a stunning head-on portrait of the benign beast, staring into the lens, looking almost regal.

He added the caption: “So sad to hear but I took a nice pic on my last visit to remember him by.”

Head tiger keeper Craig Holmes, who spent most of his days with Genghis also paid tribute to the animal favourite.

He said: “Genghis was a joy to work with and adored by not only myself and the tiger team but also by the other members of staff that work in the park, he will be greatly missed by all of us.

Our remaining tiger Bela will live on her own for the meantime, which for tigers is perfectly natural, as they are solitary in the wild.

“The tiger keepers will continue to give Bela plenty of enrichment, and keep her busy climbing trees and swimming for her food.”

Today, the park declined to give any further details on what caused Genghis’ health to deteriorate.

Last year, the popular safari park had to put down their “gentle giant” Toto the elephant.

The 46-year-old grey giant, who arrived at the park from Switzerland in 1997, was euthanised after collapsing in her pen and struggling to stand back up.

And last year, the park’s lioness, Saskia was put to sleep after a younger male attacked her and bit through her spine.

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