Death of Sumatran tiger cub puzzles Melbourne zoo keepers

Death of Sumatran tiger cub puzzles Melbourne zoo keepers

Steve Butcher
March 14, 2008

ONE of Melbourne Zoo’s three Sumatran tiger cubs has been found dead in the moat inside their rainforest enclosure.

Nakal, one of two males born in 2006, had yesterday been fed milk with brother Satu and sister Isha and appeared healthy. But the tiger keepers could not find him about 4.15pm so senior keeper Sam Cooper removed Nakal’s siblings from the exhibit and implemented emergency procedures.

She and other keepers expected to find Nakal, who was known to enjoy his own company, hiding among the camouflage, but possibly sick or injured.

Once they realised he was not on the land, they saw him dead in the moat. Zoo visitors were still present.

Ms Cooper, her colleagues, including Mark Turner, supervisor of the zoo’s rainforest precinct, and zoo staff are devastated.

Zoo vets will do an autopsy today to establish the cause of death and determine if Nakal was injured, unwell or fell and hit his head and drowned.

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