US tiger kills Malayan female on first mate

Dec 23, 2013
A tiger looks through his enclusure at a zoo in Muenster, western Germany, on September 19, 2013.

Zoo keepers are probing why a male Malayan tiger killed a four-year-old female tiger it had only just met, when they were brought together for breeding purposes in California.

Connor, who was born at San Diego Zoo in 2011, was introduced to female Tiga Tahun on Saturday for their first mating session, and initially everything seemed to be going routinely.

"Unfortunately this changed quickly and zookeepers were unable to separate the two animals," said zoo spokeswoman Jennifer Mehlow, explaining how the male tiger suddenly displayed "aggressive behavior."

The female feline died of injuries to her neck and breathing ability inflicted by Connor, she said. The death occurred before the world-famous zoo opened, so no visitors witnessed the incident.

It was the first fatal attack during a mating session at the zoo, although large carnivores often mix with breeding interactions, sometimes leading to injury, the spokeswoman said.

The Malayan tiger, who was born at the Bronx Zoo in New York, was brought to San Diego earlier this year for breeding purposes, in an effort to propagate the endangered species, Mehlow said.

Tigers are normally solitary animals, and males and females only usually meet to mate when the female is in season, according to the Los Angeles Times, which said Connor is now the zoo's only Malayan tiger.

The sub-species is listed as endangered because of poaching and loss of habitat in Malaysia and parts of Thailand where they are found, the newspaper said.

Explore further: Tiger cub born at London zoo drowns

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rare Sumatran tiger cubs born at US zoo

Aug 08, 2013

Two rare Sumatran tiger cubs were born this week at the National Zoo in the US capital, in what zookeepers described Thursday as a conservation victory for the critically endangered cats.

Tiger, two lions die from poison at Indonesian zoo

Aug 28, 2013

An investigation is under way after authorities determined that an endangered Sumatran tiger and two African lions found dead at an Indonesia zoo died from poison, officials said Wednesday.

Tiger who attacked handler to stay at Australia Zoo

Nov 27, 2013

A tiger that attacked its handler at Australia Zoo, mauling him in front of a crowd of shocked spectators including schoolchildren, will remain at the popular tourist attraction, officials said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Calcium and reproduction go together

22 hours ago

Everyone's heard of the birds and the bees. But that old expression leaves out the flowers that are being fertilized. The fertilization process for flowering plants is particularly complex and requires extensive communication ...

User comments : 0