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The drowning death of a Siberian tiger at a British zoo has puzzled zookeepers and dealt a serious blow to the breeding program for the rare species. Malyshka, a 5-year-old tigress who was mother to two cubs and was pregnant with more, was found drowned in a natural pool in her enclosure in the Norfolk zoo. She often played in the pool, and experts suspect she may have suffered a seizure.
Malyshka’s mate isn’t a suspect in her death, said the zoo director. “He is a gentleman in the tiger world and would often be seen playing with and caring for the two youngsters, so he is not implicated,” he told the BBC. Malyshka was ranked among the top five breeding females in Europe’s Siberian tiger breeding program. The death has led to renewed calls for shutting down zoos.