The 11-year old tiger, Ramu, at the Dakota Zoo has passed away after a critical illness.

Ramu, who had come to the Dakota Zoo from The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S.) in Myrtle Beach, SC in 2008, had recently been showing signs of decreased activity and the lack of an appetite in late July.

According to Dakota Zoo's Facebook page, blood work, x-rays, and other observations pointed to the fact that Ramu was critically ill. He was thought to have been dealing with serious issues involving his gastrointestinal tract.

Ramu continued to become less responsive and his ability to eat further declined. The Dakota Zoo made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize Ramu. A necropsy (animal autopsy) showed that he was suffering from cancer of the spleen and intestines.

In the announcement, the Dakota Zoo said:

Ramu will be sorely missed by Vimila and Lila, the staff and volunteers at Dakota Zoo and the countless zoo members and visitors who have enjoyed seeing our big lovable lug for the past 10 years.

Many people have been commenting on the Dakota Zoo's Facebook announcement, showing lots of love and support for Ramu and the Dakota Zoo, as well.