“Grateful” Black Pine tiger dies

Montrose, a Bengal tiger at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, died Monday, Aug. 17, 2015.

ALBION, Ind. (WANE) Black Pine Animal Sanctuary announced Tuesday one of its Bengal tigers has died.

Montrose died Monday while resting in his den house, the sanctuary said. He was 15.

Montrose, who called Black Pine home for nearly 10 years after he was rescued from a defunct white tiger breeder in southern Indiana, developed an illness in early June and had been examined a few times, Black Pine posted on its Facebook page. The tiger was believed to have an infection at first, but recovered.

About three weeks ago, though, Montrose began acting “off” and he was placed on medication. A small abscess burst on his check days later, and he appeared to improve after being treated for infection.

Twelve days ago, though, Montrose became lethargic and keepers noticed his eyelid drooping, pupils had become uneven and he was having issues chewing.

An examination showed no obvious issues and “everyone was baffled,” Black Pine said.

During a check of his pen Monday, Montrose was found dead. He appeared to have passed away in his sleep, the sanctuary said.

A necropsy was conducted Monday night. An initial examination indicates Montrose possibly died of a stroke and/or a tumor that may have been tangled up in nerves and/or his carotid artery.

The sanctuary said the results of the necropsy should provide a clearer picture into what claimed the life of one of their beloved tigers.

“Montrose enjoyed nearly 10 wonderful years in the care of people who loved him very much,” Black Pine wrote on its Facebook page. “We thank all of our keepers over the years who got to know what a wonderful, grateful cat Montrose was. And we thank all of our supporters who have made his years at Black Pine possible.”

Ten tigers remain at Black Pine, staff said.

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