London Zoo chief speaks of horrifying moment female tiger was mauled to death ...

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'He overpowered her in a split second': London Zoo chief reveals horrifying moment 'majestic' female tiger was mauled to death by breeding mate 'in a blink of an eye' minutes after pair were introduced Female tiger Melati was mauled and killed by male Asim on Friday last week Zoo CEO says the animals gave no warning they would attack each other She says keepers were ready with horns and flares in case things turned nasty But the larger male inflicted fatal injuries on the female 'in a split second'

By Richard Spillett for MailOnline

Published: 16:45 GMT, 11 February 2019 | Updated: 16:56 GMT, 11 February 2019

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London Zoo has insisted keepers could not have foreseen or stopped a fatal attack by a male tiger on its potential mate which unfolded 'in a split second'.

Ten-year-old female tiger Melati was mauled to death by seven-year-old male Asim when keepers allowed the pair to meet for the first time at the central London zoo on Friday.

The zoo's CEO Kathryn England today said the attack led to 'one of the most difficult days of my long career working with animals'.

She insisted there was no sign the animals would react how they did and they had been 'calling and "chuffing" [making friendly noises] to each other' before they were allowed in the same enclosure.

Ten-year-old female tiger Melati was mauled to death by her potential mate last Friday

Ten-year-old female tiger Melati was mauled to death by her

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