Just three weeks ago, the London Zoo celebrated the birth of a baby Sumatran tiger, the first of its kind born in the zoo in 17 years. Zookeepers said they were “over the moon” about the birth, but Tuesday, they said they are mourning the death of the baby tiger, who drowned in a pool in its enclosure.
“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,” said London Zoo’s Malcolm Fitzpatrick. “They are devoted to those tigers and are distraught.”
The zoo will investigate the exact circumstances of the cub’s death. At this point, it is still unclear how the cub drowned. CNN reports:
On Saturday, keepers raised the alarm when they could no longer see the young tiger on cameras inside its den; a search of the enclosure revealed the animal’s body.
It is thought Melati carried the cub out into the paddock area of the zoo’s “Tiger Territory,” where it fell into the pond and drowned.
The baby cub was born on Sept. 22, and was the firstborn of the zoo’s 5-year-old tiger, Melati.