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Howletts, near Canterbury, saddened by death of tiger Nika

By Anna MacSwan

A much-loved tiger has died at a Kent attraction after suffering advanced cancer.

Howletts Wild Animal Park, near Canterbury, says it is "saddened" to announce the death of Nika, a 15-year-old Amur tigress.

The fiery animal was sedated by vets on Saturday April 13 to investigate the reasons behind her "uncharacteristic behaviour" after she began displaying signs of illness.

Nika, who first arrived at Howletts in 2007 (8962837)
Nika, who first arrived at Howletts in 2007 (8962837)

She was put down after it was discovered she was suffering from an advanced cancer.

Nika, who was born at Marwell Zoo in 2004, arrived at Howletts in 2007 as part of a breeding programme.

A spokesman for Howletts said: "Nika was a big character, much loved by her dedicated staff and park visitors.

"She was a fiery tiger with plenty of attitude, however she showed her softer side with her litter of cubs that are now fully grown and at other wild animal parks around Europe.

The Amur tigress was much-loved by staff and visitors
The Amur tigress was much-loved by staff and visitors

"Nika was a big part of Howletts, having been at the park for over 10 years.

"She loved to interact with enrichment items given to her by the team and amazed all of us as she made short work of any difficult feeding devices, the team thought would keep her occupied for hours but usually only lasted minutes!

"We are sure our visitors and supporters will be as saddened by this news as we are."

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

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