A 12-year-old tiger attacked and killed his mating partner at the Sacramento Zoo this week.
According to the Associated Press, 15-year-old Sumatran tiger Baha was attacked by 12-year-old tiger Mohan Wednesday morning after zoo staff made a “physical introduction” between the two to prod them into mating.
Mohan reportedly became aggressive within two minutes of being introduced to Baha; zoo staff used fire extinguishers and a water hose to separate the tigers, but by the time veterinarians were able to reach Baha, she had reportedly already died.
Mohan had only been kept in the Sacramento Zoo for two months prior to Wednesday’s incident, on loan from a zoo in Memphis, Tennessee as part of a tiger breeding program, according to local NBC affiliate KCRA. The tigers had reportedly lived in close proximity to each other for months, and the zoo said in a statement that their “behavior indicated that this was the proper time for physical introductions.”
“We are truly devastated at the passing of Baha,” Animal Collection director Matt McKim said in a statement. “Not only was she a wonderful ambassador and a truly attentive mother, she was also a one-of-a-kind tiger that inspired many.”
No zoo staff or visitors were reportedly ever in any danger.