7th big cat dies at In-Sync Exotics from virus

7th big cat dies at In-Sync Exotics from virus

Credit: In-Sync Exotics

A tiger described as the "soul" of a North Texas animal sanctuary has become the seventh big cat to die from an outbreak of a fatal virus. A spokeswoman for In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center in the Dallas suburb of Wylie said Tacoma died Sunday night.

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Associated Press

Posted on August 26, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 26 at 12:41 PM

WYLIE, Texas (AP) — A tiger described as the "soul" of a North Texas animal sanctuary has become the seventh big cat to die from an outbreak of a fatal virus.

A spokeswoman for In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center in the Dallas suburb of Wylie said Tacoma died Sunday night. Lisa Williams says Tacoma, a 15-year-old who weighed in excess of 400 pounds, is the sixth tiger killed by canine distemper. A lioness also had died.

More than a dozen other big cats are still suffering from the virus. Experts believe raccoons likely started the outbreak by crawling around the large outdoor cages.

Williams says the death of Tacoma is particularly difficult because he had been with the sanctuary for more than a dozen years.

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