August 23, 2006

Rare Sumatran tiger killed at Florida zoo

TAMPA, Florida (Reuters) - A rare Sumatran tiger was shot
and killed by the head of a Florida zoo after it escaped from
its cage and charged at a veterinarian, zoo officials said.

Enshala, a 180-pound (81 kg) female tiger, was being put
into her night house when she slipped past an unlocked latch
and headed toward a public area on Tuesday. A veterinarian shot
Enshala with a tranquilizer dart but she then charged at him,
and zoo president Lex Salisbury killed her with a shotgun.

"I feel sick to my stomach," Salisbury, head of the Lowry
Park Zoo in Tampa, told the St. Petersburg Times. He said he
felt he had to shoot to protect the veterinarian.

Sumatran tigers are found in the wild only on the
Indonesian island of Sumatra, where fewer than 500 remain,
according to the World Wildlife Federation.

Enshala was born at the zoo 15 years ago. The zoo has one
other Sumatran tiger, a 5-year-old male named Eric.