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MIAMI (AP) -- Zoo Miami officials say a 21-year-old white Bengal tiger has been euthanized following a recent decline in health.

Officials say Carlita was put down Monday after nearly two decades at the zoo.


The Miami Herald reports that Carlita was born in July 1992 and began staying in Zoo Miami's Tiger Temple exhibit in February 1994. She shared the exhibit with two other typically-colored Bengal tigers - Lyric and Roshe - for many years.

Carlita became a solo attraction after the other two cats died. She was eventually retired into an enclosed forest area at the zoo in May 2012.

Zoo spokesman Ron Magill says the number of white tigers has diminished in recent years with the reduction in unscrupulous breeding practices used to promote the genetic mutation.