Beloved white tiger chokes on boneless meat at zoo in North Carolina

The Conservators Center near Burlington said in a Facebook post last week that the tiger named Arthur began choking when staff was feeding it boneless pieces of meat during a training session. (Source: Conservators Center/Facebook)

BURLINGTON, N.C. - A nonprofit zoo in North Carolina says its 10-year-old white tiger choked to death on boneless meat.

The Conservators Center near Burlington said in a Facebook post last week that the tiger named Arthur began choking when staff was feeding it boneless pieces of meat during a training session.

"When a cat is choking, they will attempt to cough up the obstruction and clear their airway," the Conservators Center posted on Facebook.

The center said Arthur lost consciousness and that the staff "attempted everything possible" to revive him. 

"Arthur was a beloved and charismatic resident here at the Center, and we are forever thankful for the more than ten years that we were able to provide him a loving home."

Arthur was 3 months old when he arrived at the center in 2008. The center is home to nearly 80 animals.

"Arthur was special, and the pain of losing him is particularly sharp. We take comfort in knowing that he spent his life here surrounded by the utmost love and care every single day."

Founded in 1999, the 45-acre center provides “a specialized home for select carnivore species,” including taking in lions and tigers confiscated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to its website.

In December, 22-year-old Conservators Center intern Alexandra Black was fatally attacked by a lion. That animal, named Matthai, was killed.

This story was reported on from Charlotte, N.C. The Associated Press contributed to this report.