London Zoo needs £5m to split warring tigers

London Zoo needs £5m to split warring tigers

By Jessica Salter
Last Updated: 6:01am BST 10/1/2008

London Zoo needs to raise £5 million to create a new enclosure to separate two tigers who do not get on.

Keepers hoped that Lumpur, one of the zoo’s rare Sumatran tigers, would mate with Sarah, a tiger brought in from Dudley Zoo in the West Midlands.

But instead of finding love, the tigers have been fighting. Next year, the zoo will launch a public appeal for a big cat enclosure which is expected to cost as much as the £5.3 million spent on its Gorilla Kingdom exhibit last year.

Inspectors said that a condition of renewing the licence for the 180-year-old zoo was that plans must be submitted for a new outdoor tiger paddock within two years.

Barnardo Luque, a City of London vet who was part of the five-strong inspection team, said that he had recommended new accommodation after noticing a wound on one of Sarah’s hind legs.

“The suggestion was made because the tigress did appear to have some injuries.

“It was a situation that you might expect to see in large felines but, if you see an injury, you have to do something.”

He added: “Apparently, she was a bad-tempered tiger.”

Sarah had successfully mated with a tiger in Dudley Zoo and keepers hoped the same would happen in London to help the shrinking population of diminutive Sumatran tigers.

London already had a female called Raika, who they swapped for Sarah, who had been unable to breed with 11-year-old Lumpur.

Since the problems between Sarah and Lumpur, the tigress has been temporarily moved into a second outdoor pen used by lions but zoo managers hope they can swap her back with Raika.

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