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Tigress Named Chana Eats Cubs at Jerusalem Zoo


Is this the definition of irony? A tiger named Chana at Jerusalem Biblical Zoo has apparently eaten her two cubs, reports The Times of Israel.

Chana was a famously barren biblical character who begged God for a son, and was granted Samuel. Unlike her namesake, however, this Chana—a rare Sumatran Tigress—doesn’t seem to have trouble conceiving, but she does seem to have a tough time parenting: two previous sets of cubs died, and she abandoned one cub after birth. (Sylvester was rescued and transferred to a zoo in France.)

All seemed to be well early last week, but when zookeepers entered the enclosure on Friday, Chana’s five-week-old cubs were gone—presumed eaten. (Side note: We’re curious to know how authorities ruled out the possibility of theft. No doubt a zoo is a tough place to break into, but anything’s possible…?) The cubs were Chana’s fourth litter delivered at the zoo, conceived after she mated with a tiger named Avigdor. (These names!)

Says veterinarian Nili Avnei Magen: “This is disappointing and very, very sad… We truly thought we were beyond this and that she was on the right path, and we had already planned the next stage. We will learn the lessons.”

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