BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Franklin Park Zoo's 14-year-old white tiger, Luther, died Thursday after battling cancer.
It was decided that Luther would be humanely euthanized after he "stopped responding to medication and his health steeply declined," the zoo said.
The zoo said that Luther will be remembered fondly, and said that he loved to play with "seasonal enrichment on exhibit, especially pumpkins."
"As he got older, one of his favorite things to do was rub against a log sprinkled with his favorite scent — ground cloves," the zoo said.
Zoo New England's President and CEO, John Lineham, said that the white tiger "will be greatly missed."
"Luther was an incredible cat with an important story to share about the myths surrounding white tigers, as well as the illegal wildlife trafficking trade," Linehan said.
According to Linehan, white tigers are often "purposely bred for their coloration," and "are prone to a number of health issues due to inbreeding."
Luther, and a Bengal mix tiger — named Anala — were obtained as cubs by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, when two agents "posted as private sector buyers and were able to purchase the pair from the wildlife sanctuary where they were living," according to the zoo.
The two tiger cubs were taken to Franklin Park zoo. Anala currently still lives there.