Keepers at London Zoo say they are distraught by the death of their first tiger cub born in 17 years. The Sumutran tiger was just three weeks old. Today it was announced the cub - who hadn't yet been named - drowned in a pool inside the tiger enclosure. Lucrezia Millarini reports.
- Melati's pregnancy lasted around 105 days
- Zookeepers kept a careful watch on the first-time mother through hidden cameras
- The cub was too young to be sexed or named
- It was born six months after the opening of the new "tiger territory" at London Zoo
London Zoo says it believes Melati carried the cub outside, but keepers are unclear as to how the cub got into the pool.
Keepers are now reviewing the situation because it was not forseen that the mother would take the cub outside so early.
We're heartbroken by what's happened. To go from the excitement of the birth to this in three weeks is just devastating.
Melati can be a very nervous animal and we didn't want to risk putting her on edge by changing her surroundings or routines, in case she abandoned or attacked the cub.
At the time we thought it was in the best interests of Melati and her cub to allow her continued access to the full enclosure as normal.
We would do anything to turn back the clock, and nobody could be more upset about what's happened than the keepers who work with the tigers every day. They are devoted to those tigers and are distraught.
The first tiger cub to be born at London Zoo for 17 years has died. The cub was discovered on the edge of the pool inside the tigers' enclosure. Five-year-old Sumatran tiger Melati gave birth to the cub two weeks ago, with the event captured on hidden cameras in the den.
Keepers at London Zoo raised the alarm in the early hours of Saturday morning after they noticed that they could not see the cub on the den cameras. The zoo spokeswoman said a post-mortem examination carried out on Sunday confirmed the cub had drowned
London Zoo have welcomed their first tiger cub in seventeen years, after five year old Sumatran tiger Melati gave birth to a cub on Sunday evening.
The cub was born in the Zoo's "Tiger Territory" after a six-minute labour.
Zookeeper Paul Kybett said everyone at the zoo was "over the moon" about the birth.
"It's still very early days, so we're leaving Melati to take care of her adorable baby, and our cameras allow us to watch them both from a distance. So far she's proving to be a doting mum," he said.
The first tiger cub to be born at London Zoo in 17 years is doing well and being looked after by his "doting" mother in a special pen.Read the full story ›
Hundreds of tiny endangered tree-snails will be reintroduced to their former Polynesian home following the incredible success of an international breeding programme led by ZSL London Zoo.
Three species of Partula snail, Partula affinis, Partula nodosa, and Partula hyalina, which were bred at ZSL London Zoo and other partner zoos around the world, will be released on to the island of Tahiti in October after a nearly 30 year absence.
ZSL London Zoo invertebrate keeper and coordinator of the international Partula studbook, Don McFarlane, along with staff from Bristol and Edinburgh Zoos, will be escorting the precious cargo of snails to Tahiti, where they will be released into a protected reserve in their native forest habitat.
Stunning pictures entered into the ZSL Animal Photography Prize are now showing at London Zoo.Read the full story ›