Female tiger at London zoo killed by prospective mate

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Female tiger at London zoo killed by prospective mate

LONDON (AP) — London Zoo says one of its female Sumatran tigers has been killed by a potential mate while the two animals were being introduced.

The zoo says 10-year-old Melati died Friday during her first encounter with Asim, a 7-year-old male.

The two tigers had been kept in adjoining enclosures for 10 days so they could get used to one another, but their first interaction "quickly escalated into a more aggressive interaction."

The zoo says keepers intervened with loud noises, flares and alarms but were too late to save Melati. It says staff are "devastated by the loss of Melati, and we are heartbroken by this turn of events."

Zoologists had hoped the two tigers would breed as part of a Europe-wide tiger conservation program for the endangered Sumatran subspecies.

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