A female Malayan tiger killed her mate at Texas zoo who apparently was 'involved' with the attacker as well as another older tiger. Three-year-old Seri killed her 6-year-old mate Wzui around 4 pm on Thursday in an enclosure at El Paso Zoo, zoo spokesperson Karla Martinez said on Friday.
In June, zoo authorities reported what they called a tiger love triangle between Seri, Wzui and a 15-year-old female called Meli, who was transferred to El Paso from a zoo in Fresno, California, in 2001, Reuters reports.
The male tiger Wzui likes both females, but the two females don't like each other, the zoo said in a press release dated June 14. The girls are jealous of each other, collections Supervisor Griselda Martinez said.
Veterinary staff was called for immediately after the incident occurred, who declared Wzui dead. The tiger exhibit was closed to outsiders following the rare attack.
Tragic incidents such as this are not unheard of but we don't consider this common, zoo Director Steve Marshall said. He described the dead tiger Wzui as very down to earth and loving and said it would be greatly missed.
Malayan tigers are alarmingly low in number, with around 500 members and are listed as critically endangered species. The animals are found in the wilds of Thailand and Malaysia, according to the World Wide Fund For Nature.
Seri and Wzui were relocated to the Texas zoo from other zoos as part of the American Zoo Association's Species Survival Plan to aid in their conservation through captive breeding.
The zookeepers said they never noticed any signs of feline aggression even though they were aware of the 'complicated tiger love.'