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S.F. Zoo tiger attack: Does tiger’s family get part of $900,000 settlement?

Tatiana the Siberian tiger

No matter what you may think about the two San Jose Dhaliwal brothers whose friend was killed by Titiana the tiger on Christmas Day 2007 … or what those young men may or may not have done in an attempt to provoke the tiger … the fact of the matter is … if the tiger had been confined in an adequate enclosure, she would NEVER have been able to escape from her enclosure and kill somebody … and then be killed herself.

The enclosure obviously was not adequate. The tiger got out. It had walls that were 4 feet lower than the height level recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The end result here was one dead tiger and one dead human.
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Posted on Friday, May 29th, 2009
Under: tiger attack | 4 Comments »

Tiger attack survivors finally sue S.F. city and zoo in federal court

Tatiana the Siberian tiger

The two San Jose brothers who survived a tiger attack by Tatiana, a Siberian tiger, at the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day, 2007, have finally sued San Francisco and the San Francisco Zoo for slander and civil rights violations. Tatiana was shot and killed.

So what do you think? /Gary

Posted on Thursday, November 13th, 2008
Under: San Francisco Zoo, tiger attack | 9 Comments »

S.F. Zoo: Was Tatiana the tiger “frantic for food” when she killed?

Hungry big cats are more aggressive.

Thursday, an excellent in-depth KCBS News radio report said Tatiana’s loss of 50 pounds since her arrival at the zoo from Denver two years earlier may have heightened her aggressive behavior.

The report indicated notes in a log by the tiger’s keeper said, “Tatiana frantic for food.”
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Posted on Friday, June 27th, 2008
Under: San Francisco Zoo, tiger attack, Zoos | No Comments »

S.F. Zoo still at fault, even if teen drank, smoked pot, taunted tiger

The penalty for drinking booze, smoking pot, taunting (or having a criminal record) is not death.

I hate to revisit this terrible scene, but the City of San Francisco, and the public relations firm hired by the zoo to paint the kids as bad guys (yes, I know it wasn’t very hard), and now the San Francisco Medical Examiner … keep pointing fingers in all the wrong directions.
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Posted on Wednesday, June 4th, 2008
Under: tiger attack, Zoos | No Comments »

Victim admits yelling and waving at tiger but zoo still at fault

According to the Associated Press, one of the young men attacked by the tiger at the San Francisco Zoo supposedly told another victim’s father that they were standing atop a railing and yelling and waving at the tiger shortly before the Christmas Day attack.

If that is true, then the two brothers and their friend were completely out of line and may actually have made the tiger angry enough to try and get out of its cage. If authorities can prove that they taunted the tiger and this violates any laws, then they should be prosecuted for same.

However, we must not forget the S.F. Zoo’s own responsibilities in this matter.

Dangerous zoo animals — any zoo animals — should not be able to get out of their cages, regardless of any yelling or taunting.

If the tiger had been properly caged … it would not have been able to escape its enclosure and kill one young man and injure two others.

Posted on Friday, January 18th, 2008
Under: tiger attack, Zoos | No Comments »

Tigers & Primal Ranting, oh my!

Before I pass along the first reader-submitted Primal Rant of the new year, a short word on the tiger attack at the S.F. Zoo: And so the smear campaigning begins.

And now, back to our story:

Primal Rant: Don’t keep a cat if you’re going to neglect it!

PRIMAL RANT:

Dear Gary: my Rant begins with a story:

There’s an unneutered tomcat missing from my neighborhood, a friend of mine I call Freeloader (because he’s been in the habit of coming around looking for a bite to eat, and trained me to feed him). His people live across the street, but he’s an outside kitty, and prefers my dog-free backyard for hanging out in.

Several nights ago, just before we were to leave on a short vacation, I saw Freeloader come up to the food dish 3-legged, not putting any weight on one front paw. He’d probably been fighting. I immediately sent my husband to fetch the owner, who came quickly. Then it got surreal. Freeloader has never been particularly affectionate, but always tolerates a few scratches from me. He wouldn’t come near his own human, though, and disappeared into the darkness. Owner shrugged, said he’s always like that, and he’d keep an eye out for the cat.

In the couple of days since we’ve been home, there’s been no sign of Freeloader. I took that for a good sign, assuming his people had caught him and got him treated at the vet. But no, come to chat them up, they saw him only once, in their own yard, in the last several days. He’s certainly not hanging around my yard. In fact, he’s simply disappeared. Another cat has moved in and taken over Freeloader’s prime sunning spot.

What on earth goes on in the minds of these people?! How can you keep a cat, and then neglect and/or distress it so that you have less of a relationship with it than your neighbors do? How can you KNOW your cat is injured, and just blow it off? My husband rightly reminds me that I can’t care for every cat in the world, but I feel guilty having gone on vacation and left poor Freeloader in the incompetent care of his people.

All you people out there who can see the owner’s point of view: Please Don’t Keep A Cat! It needs a better human owner than you.
Karen Locke, Santa Clara, Calif.

Dear readers:
From time to time I’ll print someone’s “Primal Rant” here for your enlightenment. You can respond to these Rants and add your own comments by clicking on “leave a comment” below. If you’re really riled up about something relating to animals or the environment, send me your Primal Rant about it in an e-mail (put Primal Rant in the subject field) or letter.

E-mail me at gbogue@bayareanewsgroup.com

Letters can be mailed to: Gary Bogue, Pet & Wildlife Columnist, Contra Costa Times, P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA 94596-8099.

The Primal Rants printed here don’t necessarily reflect my own thoughts about a particular subject … but they might. Rants that are submitted may or may not be used. That’s up to me. At least you’ll feel much better after you write them. /gary

Posted on Thursday, January 3rd, 2008
Under: Primal Rant, tiger attack | 8 Comments »

Tiger attack (continued) …

Seems like an awful lot of fingers are being pointed at the three young men who were attacked — and one of them killed — by the Siberian tiger at the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day.

Insinuations are being bandied about that the three men may have “leaped over the wall and taunted the animal.” Reports are also being publicized about the past criminal records of the three men.

So what has all that got to do with being attacked by a tiger?

No matter what those men may or may not have done to provoke that tiger … we must not forget that the bottom line here is that the tiger should NOT have been able to escape from its enclosure.

Taunting, teasing, throwing stuff, yelling, or having a criminal record have NOTHING to do with the fact that the tiger was somehow able to escape from its cage.

That responsibility falls directly on the San Francisco Zoo — and no one else.

Posted on Friday, December 28th, 2007
Under: tiger attack, Zoos | No Comments »

Pit bulls maul woman to death

BARSTOW, Calif. — A pack of pit bulls surrounded a woman and mauled her to death, authorities said Wednesday (Dec. 26). Police found Kelly Caldwell, 45, lying on the street around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, and took her to a hospital, where she later died, the San Bernardino County sheriff’s department said.

Is there something in the air?

/gary

Posted on Thursday, December 27th, 2007
Under: Pit bull attack, tiger attack | No Comments »

Tiger attack at S.F. Zoo

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

This picture of San Francisco Zoo tigers Tony and Tatiana taken in April 2007 by Flickr user ChadH under Creative Commons license.

Posted on Wednesday, December 26th, 2007
Under: tiger attack, Zoos | 16 Comments »