Contact Us

Tel: 01983 403883

Isle of Wight Zoo,Yaverland Seafront
Sandown, Isle of Wight
PO36 8QB

Update on Zena

As you will know, our beloved white tiger, Zena, and her sister, Zia, are now very old ladies. Zena celebrated her special 21st birthday, in style, in May this year and Zia turned 21 last December.

Zena has faced some challenging health issues over the years from glaucoma (resulting in the removal of her right eye) to inflammatory bowel disease. These complications may well be attributed to the in-breeding that white tigers have been exposed to. She's always been a tough cookie and has astounded us all by reaching such a grand old age (a wild tigers' lifespan is typically 10-15 years whereas zoo tigers are deemed geriatric by 15 years old and anything beyond that is a bonus). 

However, Zena is now showing her age as arthritis is setting in and starting to affect her mobility. We are fortunate to have a world class team of vets who oversee the care of our animals and they have helped us to ensure Zena has a good quality of life during the aging process. Nevertheless, we are aware that her condition is declining and have therefore decided to put you in the picture and suggest you might visit her in the near future if you are able to do so.

As you will appreciate, it's not possible for us to forecast how Zena's condition may develop over the forthcoming days, weeks or even months. Rest assured that she is in good hands with our dedicated team and is currently still benefiting from life but these things can change rapidly, at which time we will need to act with kindness and say goodbye to one of the greatest ambassadors for a species ever to have lived.

Zia is also slowing down but is in better shape than her little sister, although she does increasingly like her duvet days.

Finally, on a lighter note, you may be aware that on 1st April this year we became a charity, 'The Wildheart Trust'. We are currently preparing to offer a 'forever home' to more rescue tigers and are developing the area opposite Zia and Zena's accommodation  into a fabulous new facility for them. We are all looking forward to this next era of our charitable mission. 

Thank you again for your help, 

CEO (and Zena's mum)