Rare tiger eats 3 of 4 cubs

08:43, June 10, 2010      

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A Siberian tiger is shown in this file photo taken in Nanshan Park in Yantai, east China's Shandong Province, April 2, 2010. (Xinhua Photo)

A Siberian tiger in a central China zoo has eaten three of her own cubs days after they were born.

The tiger named Xiuxiu gave birth to four cubs on May 28, and keepers moved the new mom and her babies to a private cage screened with curtains in Wuhan City Zoo, China National Radio reported today.

But on June 2, keepers found the first tiger cub missing. Though security was immediately enhanced, two more cubs went missing without anyone seeing or hearing anything strange in the cage.

Zoo engineer Du Youshun said he found bloodstains in the cage. He said it was normal for tigers to eat their babies when they felt they couldn't feed so many cubs.

Du said it was also possible that the cubs smelled like humans and the mother just followed her predatory instinct to eat anything that smelled foreign. Tigers will kill any cubs that are not their own if they can, and usually eat them to reduce competition, he added.

The remaining cub was moved from the cage to avoid more tragedy. A dog has now adopted it as its foster mother.

Source: Shanghaiaily.com
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