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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 April 2019

Female tiger at London zoo killed by prospective mate

Zoological Society of London says Melati died Friday during her first encounter with Asim, a seven-year-old male

Asim, the male tiger who had only recently arrive at London Zoo. ZSL London Zoo
Asim, the male tiger who had only recently arrive at London Zoo. ZSL London Zoo

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), which runs London Zoo, announced on Friday that one of its female Sumatran tigers has been killed by a potential mate while the two animals were being introduced.

The zoo said 10-year-old Melati died Friday during her first encounter with Asim, a seven-year-old male.

The two tigers had been kept in adjoining enclosures for 10 days so they could get used to one another, but their first interaction soon turned violent.

“Their introduction began as predicted but quickly escalated into a more aggressive interaction. Zoo staff immediately implemented their prepared response, using loud noises, flares and alarms to try and distract the pair, but Asim had already overpowered Melati,” the ZSL said.

“Zookeepers were eventually able to secure Asim in a separate paddock so that they could safely get to Melati where our vets confirmed that she had sadly died.”

The zoo says keepers intervened with loud noises, flares and alarms but were too late to save Melati. It says staff are “devastated by the loss of Melati, and we are heartbroken by this turn of events.”

Zoologists had hoped the two tigers would breed as part of a Europe-wide tiger conservation program for the endangered Sumatran subspecies.

Updated: February 9, 2019 01:39 AM

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