A 15-year-old female Sumatran Tiger died Wednesday morning at the Sacramento Zoo due to trauma received from a male tiger during a physical introduction.
The introduction was planned through a program called the Species Survival Plan. According to the Sacramento Zoo, this was the proper time for the introduction based on the behavior of both tigers. However, Mohan, the Zoo’s male tiger, became aggressive.
Staff had been monitoring the introduction from the outside of the enclosure and quickly tried separating the two tigers. The Sacramento Zoo says the male tiger was secured first before veterinarians rushed to care for Baha, the female tiger, but they were not able to resuscitate her.
According to the Sacramento Zoo, Baha has five living offspring from three previous breeding introductions. She had been at the Sacramento Zoo since 2002.
Animal Collection Director Matt McKim released a statement.
“We are truly devastated at the passing of Baha,” he says. “Not only was she a wonderful ambassador and a truly attentive mother, she was also a one-of-a-kind tiger that inspired many.”
The Sacramento Zoo says it has successfully housed and introduced tigers since the 1960s, including Baha and her previous mate, Castro.