Malaya was transferred to the San Antonio Zoo around 1999 from the San Diego Zoo and shortly thereafter gave birth to two cubs. She was paired with the zoo’s male tiger, Berani, but they never successfully bred. Malaya had been under our cursory observation since 2008.
On August 17, 2010, after undergoing anesthesia to be spayed due to a uterine infection, Malaya died from what we believe to be complications due to anesthesia, as big cats are known to not handle anesthesia well. She was 16-years-old.
As Malaya was already weakened by her uterine infection, which was already being treated by antibiotics, it was a high risk to spay her at the time.
The San Antonio Zoo has had issues with tigers and anesthesia in the past, killing a white tiger, Cheytan, during a root canal.
In Malaya’s case, once again, the San Antonio Zoo has shown a lack of transparency by refusing to allow access to the vet records.