Florida zoo euthanizes beloved 15-year-old tiger after learning of 'heartbreaking' cancer prognosis

Zoo Miami is mourning the loss of one of its own. 

Berani, a 15-and-a-half-year-old Sumatran tiger was euthanized Thursday afternoon after test results revealed he was suffering from spleen cancer, the zoo revealed Friday. 

News of Berani's death comes after a rough few days for the tiger, who had reportedly lost his appetite and became very lethargic, the zoo said. At first, the zoo indicated that Berani was "severely anemic and dehydrated," and other procedures and tests revealed an enlarged spleen and abnormalities in the kidneys. 


Photo: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami

"Late yesterday afternoon, test results revealed the heartbreaking news that Berani was suffering from cancer of the spleen," Zoo Miami said. "Sadly, due to his advanced age and an extremely poor prognosis for any improvement, the very difficult decision was made to humanely euthanize him to provide him the dignity in death that he displayed throughout his life."

The Sumatran tiger, which was born at the San Francisco Zoo in March 2008, was brought to Miami in 2013 as part of a Species Survival Plan recommendation. After being paired with a female named Leeloo, the two had two cubs, Satu in 2015 and Ndari in 2021. 


Photo: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami

"As we sadly announce his passing, we will soon be announcing something much more uplifting that will only add to this magnificent cat’s legacy," the zoo said. 


Zoo Miami said it continues to contribute to Sumatran tiger conservation in Indonesia, since there are believed to be less than 500 of this species in the wild. Sumatran tigers are typically found in the forests of Sumatra in Indonesia. 

The biggest threats to the Sumatran tiger population are poaching and habitat loss to palm oil plantations.