London Zoo newborn Sumatran tiger cub found dead

Keepers at London Zoo 'distraught' at loss of tiger cub

Related Stories

London Zoo's newborn Sumatran tiger cub has drowned, the zoo has confirmed.

Five-year-old Sumatran tiger Melati gave birth to the cub on 22 September after a six-minute labour. The cub was the first tiger to be born at the zoo for 17 years.

On Saturday, zookeepers could not see the cub on the den cameras and its body was later discovered on the edge of a pool inside the enclosure.

A post-mortem test conducted on Sunday confirmed the cub had drowned.

Start Quote

To go from the excitement of the birth to this in three weeks is just devastating”

End Quote Malcolm Fitzpatrick London Zoo

It is thought that Melati carried the cub outside the den, but keepers are unclear as to how the cub got into the pool as there are no cameras in the wider enclosure.

The cub was born six months after the opening of the "tiger territory", designed to encourage the endangered sub-species of tiger to breed.

Melati's pregnancy lasted 105 days and was kept secret by zookeepers, who maintained a careful watch on the first-time mother through hidden cameras so they would not disturb her.

The cub - which had not yet been named or sexed as it was so young - was the "grandchild" of the zoo's last tiger cub, Hari, the father of Melati.

London Zoo's Malcolm Fitzpatrick said: "We're heartbroken by what's happened.

"To go from the excitement of the birth to this in three weeks is just devastating."

New tiger born at London Zoo The cub was the first tiger born at London Zoo in 17 years

He added: "Melati can be a very nervous animal and we didn't want to risk putting her on edge by changing her surroundings or routines, in case she abandoned or attacked the cub.

"At the time we thought it was in the best interests of Melati and her cub to allow her continued access to the full enclosure as normal.

"We would do anything to turn back the clock and nobody could be more upset about what's happened than the keepers who work with the tigers every day.

"They are devoted to those tigers and are distraught."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London

Weather

London

16 °C 9 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    Health atlas shows area risk 09:28:

    A new online map of England and Wales allows people to enter their postcode and find their community's risk of developing 14 conditions, such as heart disease and lung cancer.

    Map

    Researchers at Imperial College London point out it cannot be used to see an individual's risk.

     
  2.  
    Boy arrested in murder inquiry 09:16:

    A 15-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of murder, the Metropolitan Police says.

    He was held yesterday in connection with the killing of a man whose body was found at an address in Roehampton on Tuesday night.

     
  3.  
    Conciliatory talks 09:08:

    The RMT union and London Underground (LU) have been holding talks at conciliatory service Acas.

    LU says it has made concessions, but the union claims the transport authority has refused to budge from its plans.

     
  4.  
    Bridge partially blocked 08:58:

    TfL Traffic News tweets: Waterloo Bridge N/B app Strand - road blocked due to broken down HGV. Seek other routes. Expect delays.

     
  5.  
    Coming up 08:52: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    Coming up on BBC London 94.9, as mortgage applicants are set to be asked tougher and more detailed questions, Vanessa Feltz will be asking: Is this a good idea?

    Is it intrusive for a mortgage provider to ask about how much you spend on your weekly shop? Will this hinder first-time buyers or help to bring the London property market under control? Get in touch: vanessa@bbc.co.uk

     
  6.  
    Murder arrest after man's death 08:43:

    A man has been killed in South Croydon. He was found by officers in Selsdon Park Road and pronounced dead at the scene by ambulance crews.

    A 23-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and remains in custody.

     
  7.  
    Gherkin in receivership 08:33:

    London's Gherkin skyscraper has been placed into receivership by its creditors after one of its owners was placed in insolvency.

    Gherkin

    Germany's IVG Immobilien, which co-owns the 40-storey Gherkin with private equity firm Evans Randall, filed for insolvency last year.

     
  8.  
    LATEST UPDATES
  9.  
    Raids follow BBC phone investigation 08:24: BBC London News TV

    Police have carried out a series of raids in east London, following a BBC London investigation into shops willing to deal in stolen smartphones.

    Traders in Ilford bought Samsungs and iPhones from an undercover researcher posing as a thief.

    London Mobiles Limited and one other shop both paid cash for the devices - despite the researcher making it clear they were stolen. Officers raided both shops and one other business, making one arrest.

     
  10.  
    A40 problems 08:18: Paul Murphy-Kasp Journalist, BBC London

    One lane is blocked on the A40 coming into town at the Medway underpass after a vehicle broke down. Traffic is queuing back past Polish War Memorial.

    And in Northolt, the A312 northbound has lane one blocked between the White Hart roundabout and the A40 after a vehicle broke down in the bus stop.

    For the latest travel updates follow BBC London Travel on Twitter or go to our travel page.

     
  11.  
    Tube strike 08:12:

    The boss of London Underground says he is not optimistic that next week's Tube strike will be called off.

    RMT Union members will walk out for 48 hours next Monday evening and then again a week later for three days in protest at ticket office closures and 960 job cuts.

     
  12.  
    A rainy day 08:06:

    It will be cloudy and misty for much of the day, with outbreaks of rain. These could be heavy at times with a risk of thunder, especially over high ground such as Hampstead Heath.

    The cloud may break up in places this afternoon, allowing some brighter spells, but heavy, thundery showers could then develop with highs of 20C (68F).

     
  13.  
    08:00: Elaine Okyere BBC London News

    Good morning. I'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, travel and weather for London today.

    You can tell me your news by emailing london.locallive@bbc.co.uk or tweeting @BBCLondonNews.

     

Features

  • The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge and Prince GeorgeGorgeous George

    Baby steals show as tour reveals rise in support for monarchy


  • Kim Jong-un visits a children's campThe Notepad Men

    Who are the people who take down Kim Jong-un's every word?


  • Adam RushtonDead behind bars

    The story of one young man who 'couldn't believe he was lovable'


  • Donald Tusk7 days quiz

    What made Poland's prime minister become an internet hit?


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • RomeTop coffee cities

    These six places are known for their top-notch brews and caffeine-focused cultures

Programmes

  • Papers Please gameClick Watch

    Meet the ‘bedroom programmer’ whose game has sold half a million copies and won a Bafta

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.