Even as a dog person, this story is destroying me right now.

Zoo Boise is mourning the loss of one of their beloved animals this week, in a situation they had hoped would've been much further down the road. They announced this week that their 14-year-old Amur tiger Katarina had to be put down after experiencing complications from a back surgery she underwent in 2017.

After her surgery, her caretakers said she showed signs of improvement, but as of late her health took a turn for the worse. Bonnie Shelton, spokesperson for Boise Parks & Rec:

Katarina’s ability to walk and move around her exhibit took a turn for the worse in recent days. Veterinarians determined the risk of operating on the tiger again, especially at the age of fourteen, was too great.

While Katarina's passing is beyond saddening, it isn't completely out of the ordinary. An Amur tiger in captivity has a life expectancy of around 14 years. They live 15 years on average in the wild.

Our hearts go out to everyone at Zoo Boise as they have to go to work today with one less family member. You can reach out to them with your condolences on Facebook here.

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