Female tiger at London zoo killed by prospective mate

Evarado Alatorre
Febrero 9, 2019

A Sumatran tiger kept at London zoo has been killed by its potential mate during their first meeting.

"Their introduction began as predicted, but quickly escalated into a more aggressive interaction", the zoo said.

The zoo says keepers intervened with loud noises, flares and alarms but were too late to save Melati.

For ten days, the London Zoo kept its newly arrived male Sumatran tiger Asim in a separate enclosure from Melati, the female tiger who was supposed to become his mate.

The zoo acknowledged that while introductions of big cats are always considered "high risk", zoo experts had observed "positive signs" and deemed it to be the "right time" to introduce the pair.

A statement released after the incident on Friday said staff were "devastated" and "heartbroken by this turn of events".

They did manage to put Asim, 7, back in a separate paddock, but by that time Melati, 10, was already dead.

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Melati the Sumatran tiger died at the London Zoo. Asim approached Melati and, as expected by keepers, the two tigers were initially cautious.

Melati, a female tiger and long-term resident of the zoo, was introduced to a new male tiger, Asim, on Friday in the hope the pair would breed in the future.

Asim, who is seven years old, was brought in from Denmark on 29 January, with Jae Jae heading to a French park.

Heralding his arrival, the zoo described him as "a handsome, confident cat who is known for being very affectionate with the ladies in his life", adding that "we're hoping he'll be the flawless mate for our attractive Melati".

The pair were introduced in the hope that they would mate, but zoo keepers were left devastated after their initial introduction turned violent.

Sumatran tigers are a critically endangered species, and the London Zoo is trying to help save the majestic cats through a breeding program.

They also announced that in the wake of Melati's death, Tiger Territory would be closed for the day and they would be focusing on Asim's health.

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