Wellington Zoo's 20-year-old tiger Rokan was euthanised today after his health declined.
Wellington Zoo general manager animal care and science Mauritz Basson said in recent years Rakon's age was affecting his mobility, but over the last month he had been unable to move comfortably.
He said Rokan had been much loved by his carers, zoo staff and visitors over the past 20 years.
Carnivore team leader Paul Horton said Rokan could be sneaky and playful, but also had a relaxed side.
"Rokan was a bit of a charmer with the female tigers, and would get away with sneaking up on them to give them a fright."
Mr Horton said Rokan had helped many people find a connection with tigers, to understand the threats they face in the wild.