LONDON (Reuters) – Two tigers have ended in separate fights at British zoos before week, leaving their keepers devastated.
On Monday, a 13-year-old Siberian female called Shouri was killed at Longleat Safari Park in southwest England when she was able to enter the adjacent paddock of two other tigers using an open door.
“As a result, a fight ensued between the three,” the zoo said on its website. “The complete investigation is ongoing to look for the exact circumstances surrounding this terribly sad event.
“The dedicated team of keepers who love our big cats are, understandably, extremely distraught via the events and we are doing everything we could to help and support them.”
The park was closed during the time and neither belonging to the other two tigers was injured.
The incident happened just 3 days after a female Sumatran tiger at London zoo, 10-year-old Melati, was fatally attacked by a new male tiger moments when they were created by zookeepers last Friday.
Asim, 7, had arrived as the potential mate from a Denmark zoo and also two had seemed to getting on well while in the 10 days leading to a incident, albeit separated by mesh.
“After careful observation, most people felt certain that the timing was straight to introduce Asim to Melati,” Kathryn England, chief operating officer at ZSL London Zoo wrote in an online post.
Keepers were ready with their first meeting.
“The were not empty-handed; big cat introductions usually are highly charged as well as carry risk,” England wrote. “Fire extinguishers, airhorns, hoses and flares were all set to distract them if the encounter took a high risk turn.”
Although the initial minutes went as planned, the atmosphere quickly changed.
“In your blink of an eye, with out obvious provocation, they stimulated each other and our experience told us it was actually beyond normal,” England wrote.
“Everybody was numb with shock, and the sheer disbelief was palpable.”