13th February 2019

On Monday a rare Amur tiger was killed in a fight with two other tigers at Longleat Safari Park in what seems to be a huge error by the zoo. 

In a statement released by the zoo, they said:

 "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."

Sadly this tragic event comes within a week of a tiger killing another at London Zoo. In that case, the male tiger was transferred from a Danish zoo for breeding purposes. The tiger was introduced after 10 days to the female, Melati, who was just 10 years old. Within minutes, Asim had killed her. Melati, had been in the news back in 2013 when shockingly her newly born cub fell into a pool and drowned. The two cubs were the first to be born at the zoo in 17 years. 

These deaths bring into question the competency of zoos. Furthermore whilst zoos often claim to be saving species, both of these endangered tigers have died unnecessarily. At the young ages of 10 and 13, they could have lived to around 20 years old.  

Looking at the ethics of zoos and the situations they put animals into, these tigers were reacting to one another in a wholly unnatural environment. The risks and affects on physical and mental health that animals experience in zoos are often weighed up against conserving the species. However, animals like these tigers would never make it back to the wild. Very few animals in zoos ever do. For those that do survive, they are destined to be entertainers for the visiting public - a life of captivity. In the cases of  Shouri and Melati their days of entertaining are over. 

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