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Tiger cub bitten to death at Swedish zoo

The Local/vt · 14 Jan 2011, 11:36

Published: 14 Jan 2011 11:36 GMT+01:00

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"It is totally tragic," zoological director Mats Höggren told the Aftonbladet newspaper on Friday.

After a feeding of the eight Siberian tigers on Monday, zoo officials realised that six-month-old Sergei was missing.

He was later found lifeless at the feeding station and as soon as they could get to him, they realised he was dead.

The wildlife park between Norrköping and Nyköping two hours southwest of Stockholm participates in an international breeding program for Siberian tigers, Aftonbladet reported on Friday.

Only about 400 Siberian tigers are left in the wild in China and Russia, with about the same number in zoos around the world, according to the zoo. A number of Siberian tigers are also illegally owned by private individuals, but their number is unknown.

Many litters have been born at the zoo before, which has also sent tiger cubs to other zoos.

Sergei's sister Kalinka, who was born at the same time, is the only Siberian tiger cub remaining at the zoo. The siblings were isolated from the other tigers until the autumn in order to protect them.

"We conducted the introduction carefully and thoroughly. It usually goes well. We thought we had achieved the goal," Höggren told Aftonbladet.

Story continues below…

An autopsy performed on Sergei revealed that an adult tiger had bitten him to death, but the zoo will never know which one, the report said.

"Unfortunately, this is what happens, even in the wild. We want the animals in as natural an environment as possible and not tame them," Höggren told the newspaper.

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The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:55 January 14, 2011 by voiceofreason
The appropriate expression is "mauled to death". Tigers to bite to death.
16:17 January 14, 2011 by Vendorune
"totally tragic" is the direct who smokes too much pot
16:45 January 14, 2011 by SJack
Common sense says you don't put a junvenile male rival with other males. Duh!
19:08 January 14, 2011 by James A F Compton
Tigers don't pursue novel social theories and politically correct dictims as do humans. Instead, tigers are natural creatures.

Among this species adult males see male cubs - especially those not their own - as potential rivals. And adult females will not hesitate to kill cubs not their own. Here in San Diego at our zoo we keep the cubs of our larger cats in isolation - with their litter-mates - until they are of sufficent size and weight to fend for themselves among their species.

As a result we don't have these sorts of problems.

There is a greater lesson in all this - for all who wish to see it.
22:33 January 14, 2011 by Nemesis
This is a serious shame.

If only the risk was detectable earlier, but nature does not give warnings.
23:23 January 14, 2011 by dizzymoe33
Also I thought on animals it is called a necropsy not an autopsy?
02:08 January 15, 2011 by zircon
Male tigers eat their cubs.
02:38 January 15, 2011 by Alasdair MacCorquodale
a beautiful animal
13:53 January 15, 2011 by Uggla
:( awww poor baby!
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