Male Tiger Kills Mate at San Diego Zoo

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SAN DIEGO - 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.

Malayan female tiger

Female Malayan tiger. Credit: Thinkstock

Connor, who was born at the 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 aggressive behavior 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.

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Sugar Baby you are so right. Alot of these people are lucky they dont get put down for
idiotic comments.

December 28 2013 at 12:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They were not mates, only 'prospective' mates put into a fatal blind date by ignorant people. That, and the female asked right up front when they were going shopping, and what the credit limit was on the card. The male had enough right away.

December 27 2013 at 11:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why is this such an issue... animals kill each other for whatever reason. Humans kill each other for whatever reason. We must set a sinful example for all other species.

December 27 2013 at 9:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why didn't they use artificial insemination? This is ridiculous for this to happen at this world-renowned zoo.

December 27 2013 at 7:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Some men sort of wished they had the same freedom.

December 27 2013 at 5:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Guess he didn\'t know he\'s an endangered species. Dumb tiger.

December 27 2013 at 4:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sugar Baby

Tera you're a ******* idiot. Tigers don't get put down for acting like tigers. It's incredibly sad what happened, but it happens in the wild as well. It takes thousands of years to domesticate an animal, example DOGS. However, if you do that it's no longer a tiger. It's a kitty cat. Animals are better off in the wild only if poaching stops. Zoos like this are trying to save them. I'm so tired of tree hugging idiots preaching about stuff they don't understand. Do the world a favor and SHUT UP! I am a huge advocate for all animals, but I know the difference in someone trying to help or not. Animals will only be safe once humans are long gone so for now we do what we can. And all of you making rude and crude comments, SHUT YOUR MOUTH TOO! Talking about rough sex or him maybe being gay is way beyond immature.

December 27 2013 at 4:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Would have been nice if they would have mentioned that the female tiger was owned by the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo. That zoo is awesome. The article in the Omaha World Herald was very nice and informative.

December 27 2013 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Thomas B. Grady

Guess he\'s into rough sex. It just got out of hand.

December 27 2013 at 3:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

hey tera, do you really think they should kill the tiger because it didnt comply with the wishes of the zoo staff, this happens in the wild all the time, if you think that the zoo staff can wipe away predatory instincts your sadly wrong, these animals belong in the wild not in a zoo for everyone to gawk at all day.

December 27 2013 at 2:39 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
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