Omar, Singapore Zoo's white tiger, dies at 17 after failing health
Omar the white tiger (pictured) died on Wednesday after suffering from skin cancer. Reuters

Omar, a white tiger at the Singapore Zoo, died on Wednesday at the age of 17, the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) said in a statement on Thursday.

WRS said in a press release that Omar had been suffering from melanoma, a type of skin cancer, and degeneration of his joints over the last three years. A team of keepers and veterinarians had been monitoring the tiger closely. But due to his worsening health, the "difficult decision" was made to euthanise him.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of our senior white tiger Omar yesterday (June 7)," WRS said. "An icon of Singapore Zoo in his own right, he enthralled guests with his majestic presence."

"We will miss Omar, and our thoughts and appreciation go especially to his caregivers, who for so many years took such great care of him," WRS said.

According to WRS, Omar would have turned 18 in September, a lifespan that exceeds the average 10 to 15 years in the wild or 16 to 20 years under human care. Omar was born in captivity in Taman Safari, Indonesia, and arrived at Singapore Zoo on Apr 6, 2001, as a 19-month-old.

Omar leaves behind two other white tigers in the zoo; a four-year-old brother-sister duo named Pasha and Keysa. They arrived on Jan 15, 2015 from the Batu Secret Zoo in Indonesia.