The Cape May County Zoo announced ‘Rocky’, their beloved Siberian Tiger, died on Saturday.

Freeholder E. Marie Hayes, who oversees the Park and Zoo released a statement late Saturday afternoon on the passing of the tiger:

"Rocky was a rock star and held celebrity status at the Zoo for many years. He was a magnificent animal that delighted visitors to the Zoo from the time he arrived until his passing. Rocky, and all the other species that are part of the AZA Species Survival Plan (SSP), are an important part of the research to learn more about the habits and behavior of endangered species and aid in the recovery. He will be missed by all."

Rocky led a long healthy life and delighted millions of visitors to the Zoo. After a battle with Cancer in 2014, multiple surgeries and 6 months of Chemotherapy he was cancer free. It wasn’t until recently that he experienced some health issues.

Like many aging tigers, Rocky starting having difficulties with his hips and hind legs. He lost some muscle mass and appeared a little unsteady when he walked. The bones in his hind legs deteriorated over a very short time and he experienced difficulty walking late last week.

After through examinations, it was determined that the combined effects of a degenerative condition in his spine, osteoarthritis in his hips and complications from the multiple surgeries in his right hind leg were greatly impacting his quality of life and the difficult decision was made to euthanize him.

Rocky was buried in the Zoo Courtyard next to Numar, the lion. Rocky was part of the AZA Species Survival Program (SSP) and will be the face of future conservation efforts at the Cape May County Zoo.

Here is a 2007 video of Rocky making snow angels at the Cape May Zoo...

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