Sadness at death of Vladimir the tiger at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster

Staff and regular visitors to Yorkshire Wildlife Park are heartbroken today at the death of Vladimir the tiger.
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After suffering with chronic back problems, Vladmir had to be put to sleep yesterday.

A Yorkshire Wildlife Park spokesman said: “With heavy hearts we have said goodbye to our beloved Vladimir.

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Vladimir the tigerVladimir the tiger
Vladimir the tiger
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“The sad decision was made last night with our vets as he was struggling with a chronic back problem that had suddenly worsened.

“He was a big part of Yorkshire Wildlife Park and our hearts go out to our rangers who have loved and cared for him.”

Vladimir was one of three endangered Amur Tigers, also known as Siberian Tigers, in the 'Land of the Tigers' section of the wildlife park.

He lived alongside females Sayan and Tschuna.

Vladimir could be seen during his time at the park by visitors who walked along a 300 metre long raised walkway above the enclosure, where he roamed freely in woodlands and grasslands and played in a waterfall pool.

The Amur Tiger is the largest big cat breed in the world.

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In March 2015, Tschuna gave birth to three cubs fathered by Vladimir called Harley, Hector and Hope.

All three cubs have now grown up and moved to different parks around the world to be part of the breeding programme to try to protect the species. His cubs have gone onto breed.

Around three years ago staff at Yorkshire Wildlife Park noticed a curve in Vladimir’s spine, causing him discomfort.

He had weekly observations by vets and once a year had an X-ray to check his condition had not progressed.