Nicole, Oregon Zoo tiger, dies suddenly

Nicole, an Amur tiger at the Oregon Zoo, died suddenly on March 24, 2014. She was 15. (Oregon Zoo)
Nicole, an Amur tiger at the Oregon Zoo, died suddenly on March 24, 2014. She was 15. (Oregon Zoo)

PORTLAND, Ore.. (KOIN) — Nicole, one of the tigers at the Oregon Zoo, died suddenly Monday after what officials said seemed like a seizure.

The 15-year-old Amur tiger died just after noon during a busy Spring Break day at the zoo. A necropsy will be done to determine the exact cause of death.

“Nicole was adored by everyone who knew her,” zoo director Kim Smith said in a statement. “She was an especially affectionate tiger, but had just enough spunk to let her brother know she was the one in charge.”

She and her brother Mikhail were born on Halloween Day 1998 at the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They moved to the Oregon Zoo about two years later.

Zoo officials said the life expectancy for Amur tigers is 16 years for males and 14.3 years for females. There are about 500 Amur tigers in their native home of Southeast Russia.

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