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Endangered Tiger Fatally Mauled At San Diego Zoo During Mating Attempt

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A female Malayan tiger was killed by her intended mate at the San Diego Zoo.

Zookeepers hoped to introduce 4 1/2-year-old Tiga Tahun to her mate, Connor, on Saturday in an attempt to breed the endangered species, according to NBC San Diego. However, things took a violent turn when Connor attacked Tiga Tahun, who had been moved over to the San Diego Zoo from the Bronx Zoo earlier this year.

Two-year-old Connor grabbed Tiga Tahun by the neck, breaking her spinal cord, and cut off her breathing, according to U-T San Diego. He attacked her before zookeepers could stop him.

"It’s hard for us to know if he was a little too rough, there's just no way to know," Christina Simmons told U-T San Diego. "They were friendly, she was rolling on her back, they went into the breeding act and then at some point she was injured and died."

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However, it's not unusual that breeding tigers is dangerous in nature. Connor is now the only Malayan tiger at the zoo, according to NY Daily News.

The mauling occurred between 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. when the park was closed; there were no visitors that saw the attack.