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12 February 2019, 16:54 | Updated: 12 February 2019, 16:56
A female tiger has died following a fight with two other tigers at Longleat.
An investigation is underway after Shouri got into another paddock at the park.
Longleat has released a statement:
It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of one of our female Amur tigers, Shouri, who has passed away following a fight with two of our other tigers here at the park.
The dedicated team of keepers who care for our big cats are, understandably, extremely distraught by the events and we are doing everything we can to help and support them.
Yesterday afternoon Shouri gained access to an adjacent paddock where two other tigers, Red and Yana, were waiting to be let into the main enclosure. As a result a fight ensued between the three.
During the process of moving the tigers between the various outdoor paddocks a door connecting two areas was opened which meant Shouri was able to gain access to the same outdoor area as Red and Yana.
A full investigation is ongoing to determine the exact circumstances surrounding this terribly sad event.
The Safari Park was not open to the public at the time of the incident and both Red and Yana were not injured.
Shouri, aged 13, arrived at the Park in 2006 and everyone had become very attached to her over the years.
Red and Yana arrived at Longleat last year as a breeding pair and part of the EEP (European Endangered Species Programme). Both Red and Yana have been living together and whilst they share an indoor area with the other two older female tigers, the two groups are not mixed.
The tigers at Longleat play a hugely important role in the long-term conservation of the species. Not only do they inform and educate visitors coming to the park of their wild relatives, but also act as a means of preserving the species for the future.
Amur (Siberian) tigers are classed as endangered in the wild with as little as 500 left in their natural habitats. In the past numbers are thought to have decreased to as little as 20 to 30 individuals due to threats such as habitat loss and human impact. However, through conservation efforts this number has thankfully increased.
Although Shouri was not part of a breeding programme, she was still an incredibly important ambassador for her species and part of the global mission to raise awareness for this amazing animal. Her loss is very hard to take and she will be missed by all the staff here as well as our visitors.
Our team are incredibly passionate about the animals they look after, and as well as helping build a healthy population of tigers here, we will continue to help promote and contribute to the conservation of tigers into the future.