See post of 1/18/2008 for updated info.
Just read a story at The New York Times, titled Tiger Attack Puts Focus on Zoo Director (January 8). I'll try to link to the story here, but you might need to log in at the site before reading the story.
The story notes that SF Zoo Director Manuel Mollinedo is being greatly criticized for his suggestion that perhaps the mauling victims had been taunting the tiger that attacked them. It's said that the survivors' lawyer might file defamation charges against Mollinedo and/or the SF Zoo.
We know neither why nor how the tiger escaped its enclosure -- and no other tiger has ever escaped in the Zoo's history. Therefore, I believe it is not unreasonable to wonder if the reason might be that the animal was taunted. Do we know that it wasn't? Of course, no one - including the Zoo Director - has said that the men injured in the attack were guilty of taunting the animal.
As officials and the general public struggle to understand the cause of this situation and how to prevent further such incidences, it is at the least selfish and gratuitous to threaten a defamation lawsuit.