Friday, January 18, 2008

San Francisco Zoo Tiger Attack Update

According to news reports, all 3 victims of the Christmas day tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo had indeed taunted and purposely distracted the tiger, Tatiana.

One of the surviving victims admitted to the three men standing on a 3-foot high railing, yelling and waving at the tiger; a matching foot/shoe print of one of the men was found on the railing. Medical tests, confirmed by the victims, also show that all 3 men were drunk (one of them twice the legal limit; they'd been drinking vodka) and had been smoking marijuana. Vodka and marijuana were both found in the car of one of the victims.

For a local view of recent developments, read the San Francisco Chronicle story Mauling survivor said he yelled at tiger.

For more detailed news information, read Police: Tiger attack victim was drinking, admitted taunting at the CNN web site.

The San Francisco Zoo also has pertinent information on their web site's front page, including correspondence sent to Zoo members, a news release, a "safety enhancement update," and a photo of the tiger Tatiana. (Scroll to bottom of of main page.)

detroit dog's thoughts:
  1. Though the wall at the SF Zoo tiger enclosure is about 4 feet lower than recommended, the Zoo is not at fault for the tiger's escape: the recommended height is not a requirement for accreditation and the Zoo wall was built almost 80 years ago. Instead zoo accreditation requirements should be revised by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. (Perhaps the AZA should be sued.)
  2. Such excessively stupid behavior by the 3 young men should not be rewarded (it's being said that survivors of the tiger attack, and the parents of the deceased victim, are filing suit). I say reimburse for the medical expenses only.
To read more about this subject, click on the label Zoo in this blog's sidebar.


  1. Not a bloody shoe print, just a partial print.

  2. The vicitm was the Tiger. The survivors and the family of the person who died should be required to pay all of the expenses incurred from the birth of that tiger to it's death. They should also have to pay all costs of replacing the noble cat.

  3. los angeles lionessJanuary 18, 2008 at 12:41 PM

    Well, at least we agree medical expenses should be reimbursed. But that's where it ends. What the boys did was STUPID - but, deserving of death? It is the zoos responsibility to make sure animals are in escape-proof habitats. Period. No one can predict the behavior of naturally wild animals who don't belong in captivity. Every measure should be taken to keep them locked in, even taking into account, STUPID human error.

    DR James
    Los Angeles

  4. Thank you for the correction. I'll revise the post right now.

  5. It shouldn't matter what the three men were doing outside of the enclosure. Whether they were drinking or doing drugs should not take away from the fact that a 300 pound animal had the ability to escape. Yeah they were acting like idiots, but don't water down the loss their family has suffered. To say that the zoo has no responsibilty is crazy, thats like saying an amusement park isn't responsible if someone is thrown to their death off a roller coaster. "Oh its not the parks fault the rider was drinking". Come on people wake up!!!

    The point isn't why the Tiger attacked, its that it had a choice in the matter. If the visitors are treating the animal with disrespect it is the zoo's responsibility to protect the animal not have the animal protect itself. It is also the zoo's responsibility to maintain the safety of its guests. However SanFransico Zoo failed at both!!!!

  6. Thanks for all the comments.

    I do believe that the families/survivors should not receive any monies outside of payment of medical costs; the families are not due monies for the loss of their loved ones because of their loved ones behaviors.

    The Zoo was not at fault, as I see it, since it followed accreditation regulations.

    I believe if anyone should be sued, it should be the AZA for their lack of foresight and inadequate requirements for zoo accreditation. To make recommendations on such serious matters and not have them as requirements/mandatory is what's really ridiculous.

  7. Change the roles. What if it were a 5 year old kid that was throwing a tantrum in front of the cage? What if it were a 10 year old who threw his popsicle into the cage and it landed on the tiger's face? Does the tiger discriminate? I don't think so. A place catering to the young cannot err like this.

    Making animals a show piece subjects them to taunting every now and then. If people are upset about a rare tiger having to put down, they need to stop the hypocrisy and shut down all the zoos in the world. (and donate liberally to maintain the animal care facilities). Caging an animal and putting them up for display is 'inhuman'.

    The kid who died and the brothers who could have died as well do not deserve this. They were stupid. But not deserving of death, mauling or the trauma.

    Sloppy emergency service and park personnel made it worse. The second attack could have been avoided.

    The zoo was unsafe. Period. Don't let sleazy Geragos's involvement in this case cloud your judgment. The victims should be compensated but (I'm sure Mr Geragos will make sure it is a high figure worth his share. - Roll eyes).

  8. The focus point in this case is not what the three men did nor anyone could do outside the tiger den. It is that the zoo did not ensure the tiger cannot escape at any circumstance. If a tiger can jump out at his wish, anyone could be next victim!

  9. I certainly don't believe anyone is deserving of death.

    I do believe that when you taunt a wild animal, you are daring it to hurt you. It is stupid to assume that you will win the bet.

    The attack victims were inside the tiger's enclosure - they were on the other side of the railing which separates the visitors and the tigers.

    A tantrum or a kid accidentally throwing something, while on the correct side of the animal's might very well have happened in the past; but you are right to make the distinction. This case, however, is about taunting while in the animal's enclosure.

    I very much agree that if we are going to have zoos, we'd better take care of the animals in such a way that we take care of humans, too. I don't believe this zoo was any more negligent than many zoos in the U.S.

  10. I can't listen to another news broadcast insinuating that teasing a tiger is a good reason for the tiger to get out and eat people. I don't care if the kids were dancing on the rail with a steak in both hands, THIS TIGER SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GET OUT! What is wrong with people trying to divert the actual point here. People go by my apartment all the time and tease my dog but if she tears through the screen and eats them then I am libel. If you keep an animal capable of eating people its your responsibility to make sure it cant get out and people cant get in! These people have lost enough do you really think its fair to say they deserved what they got? If they had any idea the tiger could and would get out I am sure they would have been more reserved.

  11. I'm not aware of anyone having said that the teasing is a "good" reason for the tiger to get out, and it certainly didn't eat anyone.

    And if someone stood in your open doorway or broke into your home, then I would think your dog attacking them would not make you liable. Or course, I might be wrong on that point.

  12. Sorry, but I don't think that the zoo should have to pay a cent. Maybe if idiots acting stupidly ended up dead more often, things like this would stop. Too often, the wrong party is punished. In this case it was the tiger. Why should she have less of a right to live than three nincompoops who obviously showed a lot less brains than the tiger.

    Perhaps the sole purpose of these three young men is to serve as a warning to others. Most probably not. The dumbing-down of America continues.

    My sympathies to the zoo for the loss of a beautiful tigress. She fulfilled the measure of her creation. Too bad the same can't be said about the three idiots who accosted her.

  13. My sympathies to the beautiful tigress.

    I think Brother Jonathan sums it up best.

  14. Every time I see a photo of this tiger, my heart just stops a little. So much beauty and magnificence against only so much stupidity.
    I suppose if they were drinking and smoking up, at the very least, the pain of the attack may have been dulled somewhat. Perhaps?

  15. The victim in this scenario was the Tiger who's safety and ability to live in a secure and peaceful environment was compromised... where was the Zoo staff and security? Why where those three drunk punks allowed to behave that way without Zoo officials immediately confronting them and getting them to leave the park? The point is the Zoo failed to protect the animal...


Conversation appreciated. Ours is a big world, with big opinions; please be respectful.