Rare Amur tiger Shouri is mauled to death in front of ‘distraught’ keepers at Longleat Safari Park after gate was left open between pens holding the big cats
- Shouri, an endangered Amur tiger, died on Monday after fight with two big cats
- The tiger clashed with Red and Yana, who are usually kept separate from Shouri
- An investigation into the death of the 13-year-old is underway at the safari park
A rare Amur tiger has been killed in a fight at a British safari park, after gaining access to a pen holding two other big cats.
Shouri, an endangered Amur tiger, died on Monday after fighting with two other tigers, Red and Yana, at Longleat Safari Park.
A full investigation into the death of the 13-year-old tiger is underway at the Wiltshire safari park, where staff are said to be ‘extremely distraught’.
Shouri (pictured), an endangered Amur tiger, died on Monday after fighting with two other tigers, Red and Yana, at Longleat Safari Park
In a statement a spokesman for Longleat said: ‘Yesterday afternoon Shouri gained access to an adjacent paddock where two other tigers, Red and Yana, were waiting to be let into the main enclosure. As a result a fight ensued between the three.
‘During the process of moving the tigers between the various outdoor paddocks a door connecting two areas was opened which meant Shouri was able to gain access to the same outdoor area as Red and Yana.
‘A full investigation is ongoing to determine the exact circumstances surrounding this terribly sad event.
‘The Safari Park was not open to the public at the time of the incident and both Red and Yana were not injured.’
In a statement a spokesman for Longleat (pictured) said a fight ensued after Shouri gained access to an adjacent paddock where the two other tigers were kept
The animal had arrived at the park in 2006, and only around 500 of his species are left in the wild in Siberia.
Red and Yana arrived at the safari park last year and share an area with two older female tigers, who do not mix with the group Shouri lived with.
The park’s statement added: ‘The tigers at Longleat play a hugely important role in the long-term conservation of the species.’
Not only do they inform and educate visitors coming to the park of their wild relatives, but also act as a means of preserving the species for the future.
‘Although Shouri was not part of a breeding programme, she was still an incredibly important ambassador for her species and part of the global mission to raise awareness for this amazing animal.
‘Her loss is very hard to take and she will be missed by all the staff here as well as our visitors.’
On Friday Melati, ten-year-old female tiger Melati was mauled to death by seven-year-old male Asim when keepers allowed the pair to meet for the first time at the central London Zoo.
Asim mauled Melati, 10, to death during their first encounter and despite zookeepers making noises using ‘foghorns and dustbin lids’ the tiger could not be saved.
Ten-year-old female tiger Melati (pictured) was mauled to death by her potential mate last Friday
The two tigers had been kept in adjoining enclosures for 10 days, but their first meeting on Friday ‘quickly escalated into a more aggressive interaction.’
Senior curator of mammals at the Zoological Society of London Malcolm Fitzpatrick explained how very quickly they began to fight ‘rearing up, swiping at each other and snarling.’
Although some confrontation is normal when tigers meet as they like to ‘test each other out’ the pair then started fighting on the ground.
Despite making loud noises and ‘dousing them with hoses’ the zookeepers could not break up the fight and save Melati.