Wednesday, 16 October 2013

London Zoo newborn Sumatran tiger cub found dead

London Zoo's newborn Sumatran tiger cub has drowned, the zoo has confirmed.

Five-year-old Sumatran tiger Melati gave birth to the cub on 22 September after a six-minute labour. The cub was the first tiger to be born at the zoo for 17 years.

On Saturday, zookeepers could not see the cub on the den cameras and its body was later discovered on the edge of a pool inside the enclosure.

A post-mortem test conducted on Sunday confirmed the cub had drowned.

It is thought that Melati carried the cub outside the den, but keepers are unclear as to how the cub got into the pool as there are no cameras in the wider enclosure.

The cub was born six months after the opening of the "tiger territory", designed to encourage the endangered sub-species of tiger to breed.

Melati's pregnancy lasted 105 days and was kept secret by zookeepers, who maintained a careful watch on the first-time mother through hidden cameras so they would not disturb her.

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