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Sumatran tiger Asim arrives at London Zoo

Sumatran tiger Asim arrives at London Zoo”

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 two tigers were initially kept in separate, adjoining enclosures, where keepers allowed the two animals to "smell and react to each other".

When they finally got Asim away, Melati was dead.

When they began to interact, however, the cats' caution turned into aggression. A tragic turn on Friday ended in the death of Melati, one of the zoo's female tigers.

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

Trained staff eventually managed to secure Asim in a separate paddock in order for vets to safely attend Melati, but they confirmed that she had died in the attack.

A zoo in London is mourning the loss of their female Sumatran tiger after the first interaction with her potential mate went completely wrong.

But they cautioned meetings between big cats, however carefully planned, are "always considered to be high risk".

Asim, who is seven years old, was brought in from Denmark on 29 January, with Jae Jae heading to a French park. After their keepers saw positive signs, they decided to make the "high-risk" introduction on Friday morning.

Sumatran tigers are described as critically endangered by the World Wildlife Federation, which estimages there are fewer than 400 in the wild.

Ahead of Asim's arrival, the zoo described the large cat as "handsome", "confident" and said he was "known for being very affectionate with the ladies in his life - we're hoping he'll be the flawless mate for our lovely Melati".

Asim and Melati were matched through the European Endangered Species Program for Sumatran tigers, which seeks to rescue the cats from near-extinction, the zoo said.

The zoo's head tiger keeper Kathryn Sanders said last month: 'Asim arrived yesterday after catching the ferry from France and immediately made himself at home in his new, cosy den.



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