THE world's oldest royal Bengal tiger has died aged 25 – 14 years after having his leg ripped off in a crocodile attack.
Raja died at his shelter in Jaldapara forest, India, in the early hours of yesterday morning.
He did not show any symptoms of serious illness in the run up to his death, with vets linking his passing to old age.
Tributes have poured in for the late, majestic creature and his body has been laid out on a stretcher at the shelter and surrounded by flowers.
In 2008 the feline was said to have gained a new lease of life after surviving a crocodile attack.
He had been swimming across a creek in the Sundarbans when the attack took place.
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He lost a limb and spent the remainder of his life in captivity with a prosthetic leg – living to the ripe old age of 25 years and 10 months.
According to local reports, Raja would respond to keepers and vets at the shelter, with one worker reported to have said: "He was like a child. He seemed to understand everything."
On average, tigers live between 10 to 15 years out in the wild and 16 to 20 years in captivity.
In recent years, tigers have become vulnerable to extinction due to poaching.
Around 3,890 wild tigers roam forests and savannas today, according to WWF.
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