El Paso

Tiger at El Paso Zoo loses battle with kidney disease

El PASO, Texas - The El Paso Zoo has lost its 8-year-old Malayan tiger Belahat as a result of age-related kidney failure, zoo officials said.

On Wednesday, Belahat, who appeared to be losing weight, was moved to the Zoo's Animal Medical Center for diagnostics.

The animal care team confirmed, through blood and urine tests, the tiger's kidneys were in critical condition. The tiger initially responded well to antibiotics, but eventually succumbed to the disease.

Belahat was first diagnosed with kidney disease two years ago, zoo officials said, adding degenerative kidney disease is a common and irreversible problem in older cats, both domestic and exotic.

Zoo Director Steve Marshall said the tiger "was with us for five years, and in those short five years, he became a member of our Zoo family. It's just a tough time for all of us."

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