• Luther, a rare white tiger, has died at the Franklin Park Zoo

    Updated:

    BOSTON - A 14-year-old white tiger at the Franklin Park Zoo died Thursday morning, according to Zoo New England. 

    The staff said Luther had to be humanely euthanized due to complications from cancer and a decline in health recently. 

    After his cancer diagnosis, he was monitored and treated but recently stopped responding to medication and his health deteriorated quickly. 

    "We are deeply saddened to share the news about Luther, who will be greatly missed," said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO. "Luther was an incredible cat with an important story to share about the myths surrounding white tigers, as well as the illegal wildlife trafficking trade. White tigers, which are purposely bred for their coloration, are prone to a number of health issues due to inbreeding. We were fortunate that Luther was a healthy cat up until very recently."

    Luther was brought to the Franklin Park Zoo in 2006 when the Tiger Tales exhibit first opened. He was rescued from exotic wildlife traffickers by the U.S. Fish and Game Service. 

    According to the Zoo, he enjoyed tearing apart cardboard boxes and playing with seasonal enrichment on exhibit -- especially pumpkins. As he got older, they say one of his favorite things to do was to rub against a log sprinkled with his favorite scent – ground cloves.

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