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Sumatran tiger killed at London Zoo by potential mate

10 / 02 / 2019, Mongabaycom News

A male Sumatran tiger named Asim attacked and killed Melati, a female of the same subspecies, shortly after he was allowed to enter her enclosure Feb. 8 at ZSL London Zoo. Zookeepers had kept the two tigers in adjacent enclosures separated by a closed door for 10 days so they could get used to each other. ZSL, short for the Zoological Society of London, had hoped the pair would eventually breed, in a bid to help save the Sumatran subspecies (Panthera tigris sumatrae). Melati, the female Sumatran tiger killed at ZSL London Zoo on Feb. 8. Image by Marc Barrot via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). But shortly after keepers opened the door between them Friday morning, Asim had “overpowered” Melati before the zoo’s staff could intervene. “Everyone at ZSL London Zoo is devastated by the loss of Melati,” ZSL said in a statement. The 7-year-old Asim arrived in London on Jan. 29 from Ree Safari Park in Denmark, the same day that Jae Jae, a male that had been living at ZSL London Zoo, was sent to Le Parc des Félins, a zoo in France. It was part of a conservation breeding project called the European Endangered Species Programme. Fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers, the smallest tiger subspecies, live in the wild on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Habitat loss, poaching and the disappearance of their prey have cut their numbers from around 1,000 in the late 1970s, according to the WWF, and they’ve been listed as critically endangered by…

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