Two beloved zoo animals have been euthanased after suffering health related issues.
Auckland Zoo's had to say a "very difficult goodbye" to their last Sumatran tiger after it developed a chronic illness.
This morning the zoo announced the 11-year-old tiger Berani (Malay for brave) was euthanased after he began exhibiting signs of discomfort and stress in early January.
"Over the past three to four months, he began to show symptoms of a more serious illness - including loss of appetite, diarrhoea, weight loss, and further changes to his behaviour," the zoo said.
"Berani underwent two separate health checks under general anaesthetic with our vet team in May, which included an ultrasound and endoscopy. Some inflammation of Berani's small intestine was discovered, but no diagnosis could be made"
Meanwhile, Wellington Zoo has also announced its 17-year-old lioness Djembe was euthanised today after her health recently deteriorated due to age-related concerns.
"The zoo's animal care and veterinary teams had been monitoring Djembe's health closely over the last month, as she had become disinterested in her food and increasingly lethargic.
"Djembe had a health check earlier this month, however the results from this procedure were inconclusive," animal care manager Joanne Richardson said.
"In the last week, Djembe's health had continued to decline and her quality of life was compromised.
"The welfare of our animals is of utmost importance to us, so the decision to euthanise Djembe was made."
Richardson said the lioness would be greatly missed by her carers and zoo staff.
"She has been an amazing ambassador for Wellington Zoo and her species by lifting the profile of lions and their decline in the wild," she said.
Djembe's sisters, Djane and Zahra, live at Wellington Zoo.
At Auckland Zoo, team leader of carnivores Lauren Booth said the tiger's death was "heartbreaking".
Berani was one of the first tigers to be born at the zoo, in June 2008, with his sister Cinta and brother Jalur.
The cubs were part of an international breeding programme for this critically endangered big cat.
Booth has been caring for Berani since he was born. She described him as a "very handsome tiger and a real sweetheart".
She also said Berani was "uncomplicated, and a typical male – focused on where to have a good sleep and where dinner is!".
"Berani was an amazing ambassador for his species and we know his legacy will live on in the many millions of people who were lucky enough to see and connect with him, while he shared his life with us here at Auckland Zoo.
"I hope our visitors will remember Berani the way we will - playing in his pool or lying upside down right next to the window. It's moments like these that can move and inspire people to do something to ensure we never have to live in a world without tigers."
The tiger's death comes as Auckland Zoo works to finish its new Southeast Asia Jungle Track - which includes a new enclosure for Sumatran tigers.
"It's heartbreaking for us that Berani will not now get to experience the incredible new home being built for tigers at the zoo, that was, to a great deal, designed with him in mind," Booth said.
To fill the space, which is due to be completed in 2020, the zoo is to receive two young tigers for breeding within the coming year.