A male leopard has killed a female leopard after workers at a northwestern Pennsylvania zoo put them together in an off-exhibit area in hopes they would mate.
The Erie Times News reports the incident occurred Monday at the Erie Zoo.
The zoo's executive director, Scott Mitchell, says Edgar, a 5-year-old male, killed Lina, a 7-year-old female.
Mitchell says the female cat was in heat at the time of the attack, and that the zoo's staff is at a loss to explain it. The animals had been paired in the past without incident in previous attempts to mate.
Mitchell says, "My staff is devastated. This is a tough day.''
Mitchell says a veterinarian and other staff were present, and separated the animals as soon as the male attacked.
Edgar, the male, will continue to go on exhibit.