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Beloved ‘charismatic’ white tiger chokes to death at North Carolina carnivore preserve

Arthur Tiger died last week, after choking to death, says the Conservator's Center. Facebook screenshot
Arthur Tiger died last week, after choking to death, says the Conservator's Center. Facebook screenshot

A nonprofit zoo in North Carolina says its beloved 10-year-old white tiger has died, after choking to death on meat.

The Conservators Center near Burlington said in a Facebook post that the “charismatic” tiger named Arthur died March 28 during a “routine training session.”

“Arthur was being fed pieces of boneless meat by our keeping staff and began choking,” said the post, which has been shared hundreds of times.

The post continued: “When a cat is choking, they will attempt to cough up the obstruction and clear their airway. When that was unsuccessful, Arthur quickly lost consciousness. Our personnel attempted everything possible to save Arthur, but were unable to revive him.”

The 45-acre center was founded in 1999 to provide “a specialized home for select carnivore species,” including taking in lions and tigers confiscated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is currently home to nearly 80 animals, according to the center’s web site.

Arthur Tiger has been at the center since 2008 and came to be known as “ambassador for the park,” according to the Greensboro News & Record.

The tiger had its own Facebook page with more than 700 followers, and the center says he even “once ran for president.”

Arthur Tiger was just three months old when first brought to the center, and was “severely underweight” at 19 pounds, said the center on Facebook.

“We are devastated by this tragic and unexpected loss,” said the center on Facebook. “Losing an animal is always painful, but Arthur was special, and the pain of losing him is particularly sharp.”

Breeding and raising healthy animals is part of Riverbanks Zoo's mission to create self-sustaining animal populations for educational purposes in zoos. The zoo has recently welcomed baby giraffes, lions, koalas and an Eastern Lowland Gorilla.

The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, N.C. posted a video of one of its bison reacting to the first day of spring with a dance that included wallowing in dirt.

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