Apple Valley, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Zoo has announced the death of a longtime zoo attraction.

The Amur tiger named Molniy passed away on Sunday due to age related health conditions. Molniy was 16 years old and came to the Apple Valley facility from the Detroit zoo in 2002. The average lifespan of a wild tiger is 12 to 15 years.

“Molniy was a favorite among his zookeepers,” said Northern Trail Curator, Diana Weinhardt. “He will be greatly missed by all the staff who worked with him in the 14 years he was here.”

There are currently three other tigers at the Minnesota Zoo, including an offspring of Molniy who is four years old. The two other tigers are four and six years old.

Minnesota Zoo officials say staff members have been involved in efforts to save wild tigers for over two decades. Those efforts have recently included fundraisers to support anti-poaching and other conservation efforts in eastern Asia.

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