Namaste, a male white Bengal tiger that was the star attraction of the Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens in Hilo for fifteen years, was euthanized this morning. Over the past several weeks, Namaste developed multiple health problems that caused his quality of life to deteriorate.
Donated to the Pana‘ewa Zoo in 1999 by Las Vegas magician Dirk Arthur, Namaste was 8 months old when he arrived on Hawai‘i Island. For 15 years, Namaste’s daily afternoon feedings drew a crowd, and his birthday parties held every September attracted hundreds of attendees.
Namaste was buried today in his enclosure, and the spot will soon be marked with a monument. The zoo also has plans to welcome another tiger after making some renovations to the tiger habitat to accommodate a younger animal.