Bengal tiger cub dead Crimea
A Bengal tiger cub has died because of a power outage at a Crimean zooReuters

A rare six-week-old Bengal tiger cub froze to death at a Crimean zoo after a prolonged power cut caused by an emergency line bombing.

The Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia in March 2014 was plunged into darkness in November, after unknown attackers blew up electricity pylons near the border, cutting supply off completely.

The Skazka zoo in Yalta has since relied on two power generators to maintain a healthy environment for its many exotic animals amid the cold December temperatures. However, one of the two generators failed earlier this week, indirectly causing the cub's death, the zoo director Oleg Zubkov said.

"We've failed to maintain the temperature regime," Zubkov told RIA Novosti news agency. "These were white Bengal tiger cubs, they are very particular about the warmth." Zubkov said other animals were in danger as workers were unable to repair the Chinese-made generator and they were still waiting for a replacement.

Local prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya however said the director was to blame for the tiger's death as it was his duty to care for the animals. "He did not provide the necessary conditions to prevent the animal's death," she told Tass news agency.

The dead cub was born of Tigryulia, an albino tiger that became an household name in Ukraine as it was used by former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko to symbolise her determination during the 2010 presidential campaign.

Tymoshenko eventually lost the vote and was later jailed in a controversial case that became the source of tensions between the West and election winner Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych was ousted four years later in a pro-West revolution triggering a crisis that led Russia to seize Crimea.

The continuing tensions between Kiev and Moscow that ensued, were heightened late in November when saboteurs blew up the main energy line running from Ukraine into Crimea.

On 2 December Putin inaugurated an undersea cable hastily laid down from Russia to bring power but at least 200,000 people are still without electricity.

Tiger cub dies Crimea
A cub that froze to death at a Crimean zoo was the offspring or Tigryulia, a Bengal tiger used by former Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko during the 2010 presidential campaignReuters