Lion Man blames Zion for tiger's death in fight

By Imran Ali

Lion Man Craig Busch said a tiger killed during a fight with another animal at Zion Wildlife Gardens was not suitable for breeding.
Sita, a female Bengal tiger was killed after a fight with male tiger Jahdu, with which she was placed to mate about two weeks ago.
Her death sparked worldwide condemnation from supporters of Mr Busch, with some even calling for the cats to be moved away by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Mr Busch, who raised Sita and another big cat Shikana, said he was devastated by her death.
"I spent many years with Shikana and Sita, raising them in a certain way that made them feel secure. Since I have been excluded from my park and these animals, Sita was firstly traumatised by removing her from her mother and now she has died needlessly due to incompetence.
"Anyone with any expertise with big cats or who knew Sita would have known she was not suitable for breeding, and certainly not with Jahdu," he said. "I live for all those cats and I will never give up fighting for them."
The park refused to comment, saying only all necessary protocols had been followed.
The Ministry of Agriculture would not investigate the incident because there had been no breaches of containment or animal welfare standards and requirements associated with the incident.
Although the death was regrettable, the ministry said, tigers fighting was not uncommon.

- Northern Advocate

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