Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
— from “The Tiger” by William Blake (1757-1827)
So how is it possible that a female Siberian tiger, the same one that attacked and badly lacerated a keeper’s arm almost exactly a year ago, can escape its enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo and kill one zoo visitor and seriously maul and injure two others?
According to our front-page story in today’s Contra Costa Times, the state division of OSHA ruled that the zoo was responsible for the Dec. 2006 attack on the zoo keeper during feeding at the zoo’s Lion House “because of poor training and the way the cages were set up.” The zoo closed the Lion House for renovations and didn’t open it until September of this year.
Of course, all those renovations won’t do any good if the tiger gets out of its cage.
Two critical accidents at the San Francisco Zoo in one year. A keeper is seriously injured in one, and two zoo visitors are critically injured and one zoo visitor is killed in the other.
This isn’t just about adding steel mesh over some cage bars to keep a zoo keeper from being bitten. This time, a 300-pound Siberian tiger escaped from her enclosure and killed someone.
The San Francisco Zoo should be closed until they can guarantee that something like this won’t happen again.
The question of the day now becomes, can they make such a guarantee? /gary