Zoo's Rare Tiger Drowns 3 Weeks After Birth

London zookeepers think mom might have carried it out of den
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2013 8:05 AM CDT
Zoo's Rare Tiger Drowns 3 Weeks After Birth
In this file image from video taken Sunday Sept 22, 2013 and made available by London Zoo of the first tiger cub for 17 years to be born at the zoo.   (AP Photo/ London Zoo, File)

London zookeepers are using the word "distraught," and understandably so: The city's zoo has lost the first Sumatran tiger born there in 17 years; the three-week-old cub apparently drowned on Saturday morning. Keepers realized something was amiss after failing to locate the newborn using the cameras trained on the den; they searched the enclosure and found the animal, and a post-mortem exam yesterday confirmed the drowning.

The Independent notes that there aren't cameras throughout the whole enclosure, so the keepers are unsure exactly how the cub got in the pool. But CNN reports that they think mom Melati may have carried the cub outside, where it may have somehow fallen in. The zoo had decided to give Melati full run of the enclosure because she's a nervous tiger who they feared might react badly to any changes in her routine; but the Independent reports no one expected Melati to take the cub out so soon. The cub had not yet been named nor had its sex been revealed due to its young age. (More London Zoo stories.)

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