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Archive for the 'Zoos' Category

Born Free USA has first ever Captive Exotic Animal Database

SF Zoo’s Tatiana tiger. Photo by Flickr user mjaysmonk used under a Creative Commons License
SF Zoo's Tatiana

There’s an interesting new wild animal resource available out there on the Internet. It’s called a “Captive Exotic Animal Database.” I thought you might like to learn more about it. Read on … /Gary

Born Free USA Launches First Ever Captive Exotic Animal Database that Cites Attacks on Humans and Other Animals Searchable by Location, Species, and More

Database designed for lawmakers, media, and public, illustrates these are not isolated incidents, are shockingly common, and that the issue is a critical matter of public safety, says Born Free CEO

Washington D.C., August 19, 2010 — Born Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, has launched an unprecedented interactive database of deadly and dangerous captive wild animal incidents (, designed as a resource for the media, lawmakers, activists and the public, to help shed light on the magnitude of the issue.
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Posted on Friday, August 20th, 2010
Under: Circus, Exotic wildlife, Zoos | No 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 »

10 Worst Zoos for Elephants in 2007 list announced by In Defense of Animals

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Vallejo, grabs top spot on annual “10 Worst Zoos for Elephants” list.

“The 10 Worst Zoos for Elephants list draws attention to the fact that elephants are needlessly suffering and dying prematurely from inadequate and inhumane zoo conditions,” said IDA president Elliot M. Katz, DVM. “The problems such as aberrant behaviors, lethal joint and foot disorders, and premature death chronicled in this list speak loudly to the mammoth changes that are needed to improve the lives of elephants in zoos.”

IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS is an international, California-based (San Rafael) animal advocacy organization dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals by defending their rights, welfare and habitats.


For more information on this subject, visit Thanks for caring. /gary

Posted on Friday, January 11th, 2008
Under: Elephants, In Defense of Animals, Zoos | 6 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 »

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 »


It’s feeding time once again at the San Francisco Zoo’s Lion House.
The next thing you hear will be the sound of sharp teeth ripping flesh.

The zoo’s Lion House, one of its most popular programs, has been closed since last year when a female trainer’s arm was badly injured after a tiger grabbed her. Since then, zoo management has made structural changes to the cages in the Lion House and retrained the lion keepers to help protect them.

The S.F. Zoo’s Lion House feeding show reopens today. Lion feeding shows are held at 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

In a wire story I read, one mother of a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old said she would definitely bring her kids back to see the lion feeding show.

Hey, doesn’t everybody wants their kids to see those huge carnivores ripping and snarling and gulping down those big dripping chunks of bloody horse meat? It’s something warm and special they can share with their preschool classes.

Posted on Friday, September 7th, 2007
Under: Zoos | 1 Comment »