SAITAMA – Ryu, the oldest white tiger in Japan, has died at Tobu Zoo in Saitama Prefecture at the ripe old age of 20, the zoo said.
An employee found the tiger dead in its rearing facility at around 8 a.m. Wednesday, the Miyashiro-based zoo said.
Ryu had been eating less than usual since the start of the new year, officials said, adding that 20 years for a white tiger corresponds to 100 in human terms.
About 200 white tigers, a mutation of the Bengal Tiger, are being reared in captivity worldwide. Ryu was among 26 bred in Japan, the zoo said.