Tiger that killed owner was starving

By Kevin Giles

Star Tribune April 12, 2006

The tiger that killed its owner in Pine County last week was starving, a University of Minnesota veterinary report has determined. Kevin Giles, Star Tribune The tiger that killed its owner in Pine County last week was starving, a University of Minnesota veterinary report has determined.

The male tiger, named Tango, mauled and killed owner Cynthia Gamble, 52, at her property east of Sandstone last Thursday. A friend found her body inside the tiger’s cage at her residence. The report said the tiger was “cachetic,” meaning it was emaciated, and weighed 118 kilograms. That’s the equivalent of 260 pounds, about half of what a 10-year-old tiger’s normal weight would typically be. The report said the tiger had no significant injuries, and tests for rabies were negative.

After Gamble’s body was found, a veterinarian shot the tiger with tranquilizer darts and then destroyed it, said Steve Ovick, chief deputy for the County Sheriff’s Office. The tiger was taken to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus for examination. The report also concluded that the tiger’s teeth “were markedly worn or had been intentionally trimmed down.”

Gamble held an exhibitor’s license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which permitted her to show animals at public venues. Her services will be Thursday in Kroschel, west of Hinckley in rural Pine County, at 2 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church. The family asks that memorials be sent to the Columbus Zoo, 9990 Riverside Dr., Columbus, OH 43065.

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