Yorkshire Wildlife Park tiger Vlad put to sleep after suffering back problems

Vlad the tiger at Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Vlad was one of the Yorkshire Wildlife Park's most popular residents. Credit: Yorkshire Wildlife Park

A wildlife park has been inundated with well wishes after announcing the death of one its most popular animals.

Vladimir – known as Vlad – an endangered Amur tiger, had to be put to sleep at Yorkshire Wildlife Park after struggling with chronic back pain.

The park, near Doncaster, tweeted on Wednesday, 27 April: "With heavy hearts we have said goodbye to our beloved Amur tiger, Vladimir.

"The sad decision was made last night with our vets as he was struggling with a chronic back problem that had suddenly worsened.

"He was a big part of Yorkshire Wildlife Park and he will be dearly missed."

Vlad was one of three Amur tigers who had lived at the park for the last 10 years.

But he had begun to suffer with curvature of the spine, which caused discomfort and an "odd gait" when he walked.

Despite x-rays and specialist treatment, the decision was taken to end his life.

Thousands of people have reacted on social media to news of Vlad's death.

Vlad had been at the wildlife park for 10 years Credit: PA

On Facebook, Claire Green wrote: "Such sad news, he was such a beautiful characterful tiger who always brought a smile to your face."

Chris Woodward added: "So sorry for your loss but he had an amazing life at YWP thanks to the care and love given by his team. Condolences to all his team. He is out of pain now."

Caroline Collinson said: "So very sorry to read this. He inspired me so much I did a life size painting of him which I look at every day."

A spokesperson for the park said: "We have been touched by the thousands of loving messages and heartfelt memories shared by all of our wonderful followers."