Tiger Kills Mate at El Paso Zoo

Texas zoo: Tiger’s killing of mate surprising

By JUAN CARLOS LLORCA, 09.09.11, 05:27 PM EDT

EL PASO, Texas — The killing of a rare Malayan tiger by his mate caught handlers at the El Paso Zoo completely by surprise because there were no warning signs and the pair were seen playing together only hours earlier, the zoo director said Friday.

Seri, the 3-year-old female who was sent to El Paso from the San Diego Zoo about 15 months ago, seemed to have bonded with 6-year-old Wzui during the two-and-a-half months they were together, said Steve Marshal, the director of the El Paso Zoo. The tigers had tried mating, and hours before Thursday’s attack were seen frolicking and “being affectionate,” he said.

“We did not see any indication this was coming. It took us completely by surprise, the staff is shocked,” Marshal said.

A zoo visitor witnessed the attack, but Marshal declined to publicly identify the witness. He said Seri killed Wzui by chomping down on the side of his neck and choking him.

“We arrived too late,” Marshall added.

Tara Harris, the conservation director at the Minnesota Zoo, said attacks such as Thursday’s almost never happen.



  • Show Comments (1)

  • johnrm321

    This just goes to show that no matter how “trained” animals are, they are still wild creatures and can do something drastic at any second. I run a seo el paso website here and we did some stuff for the zoo a while back, it’s a shame they don’t have a way to monitor the animal pens through surveillance to avoid this sort of thing.

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