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Posted: Thursday, September 26th, 2013 10:48 AM HST

Tiger turns 15 at Panaewa Rainforest Zoo

By Associated Press

HILO, Hawaii (AP) A star of the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo is celebrating a milestone.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports the white Bengal tiger Namaste is turning 15.

The tiger weighed 80 pounds when it arrived at the zoo at 8 months old.

Director Pam Mizuno says he now weighs 350 pounds. She says captive tigers typically live to be 20.

Mizuno says Namaste has had a rough year.

He broke a leg and was confined for several months to his nighttime enclosure as the leg healed. Access to a pool where he can cool himself remains blocked off. The zoo has equipped his enclosure with a mister to help him with the heat.

The zoo Saturday is planning a celebration of the tiger's birthday with a bone ice cake and a catnip pillow.



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