Sumatran tiger Asim arrives at London Zoo

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The ZSL London Zoo said Friday that a new male Sumatran tiger, Asim, killed the facility's "beloved" female, Melati.

"This morning, the two tigers were in separate paddocks and the adjoining door was opened to allow them to meet".

A male tiger mauled his intended mate to death after they were put in the same enclosure.

In addition, they explained that in Asim's early days at the zoo with Melati, they noticed "lots of "chuffing" which is a happy sound they make to let each other know they have good intentions" and added, "It's fantastic to see that they're interested in each other already". However, keepers were devastated, when Asim, fatally attacked Melati, reported CNN.

Sumatran tigers are a critically endangered species, and the London Zoo is trying to help save the majestic cats through a breeding program.

The zoo had brought the 7-year-old tiger 10 days ago, and kept the two in adjoining enclosures, where they could react to one another by smell.

The zoo explained that any introductions involving large cats always run an incredibly high risk, no matter how prepared the keepers may be.

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Asim, seven, was a potential new mate for Melati after her previous partner Jae Jae was moved to a French zoo in January. A statement issued by the zoo said Asim was immediately moved to a separate paddock but despite the best efforts of the vets, 10-year-old Melati died.

A statement published by the zoo details what went wrong: "Their introduction began as predicted, but quickly escalated into a more aggressive interaction".

Staff members are "heartbroken by this turn of events", officials said.

Asim's arrival at the zoo last week had been trumpeted in a press release showing him on the prowl and describing him as a "strapping Sumatran tiger".

Staff are "devastated" by the loss of Melati, who has been with the zoo for seven years.

ZSL said its Tiger Territory attraction would remain closed for the rest of Friday while its team focused on caring for Asim.

There are thought to be only 300 Sumatran tigers left in the wild.