London Zoo tiger mauled to death by its new mate

London Zoo tiger mauled to death by its new mate

A Sumatran tiger named Melati was killed by her new mate Asim after the pair were introduced to one another in their London Zoo enclosure.

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

The staff, who were carefully watching their interactions, attempted to distract the tigers from each other with loud noises, flares, and alarms - a standard response for zookeepers to implement in these situations, they explained - but it was too late.

The two animals had been kept separated in adjoining areas since Asim's arrival so they could get used to each other.

When they finally got Asim away, Melati was dead. Keepers had hoped the big cats would breed but have been left devastated after Asim, the male they brought in, attacked Melati.

Big-cat introductions can be perilous, even with diligent preparation, the zoo said.

London Zoo describes Sumatran tigers as the "rarest and smallest subspecies of tigers" in the world, and are native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

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"Everyone here at ZSL London Zoo is devastated by the loss of Melati and we are heartbroken by this turn of events", the zoo said in a statement.

They had shown "obvious positive signs" when they were kept in adjoining enclosures within each other's sight for the previous 10 days, a spokesman for the zoo said.

The Sumatran tiger is classified as critically endangered, and there are believed to be only 300 in the wild.

It said: "Our focus right now is on caring for Asim, as we get through this hard event".

The London Zoo welcomed Asim on January 29, writing in a post that the lion - who was moved to the zoo from Ree Park Safari in Denmark - was a "handsome, confident cat who is known for being very affectionate with the ladies in his life".

"Asim was moved to ZSL London Zoo as part of the European-wide conservative breeding program, and it was hoped that the two tigers would be able to breed in the future".

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