Thursday, December 27, 2007

Killer San Francisco Tiger: Blame the Victim?

In what is being reported as the first death to a U.S. zoo patron at the hands of an animal in decades, local officials are now raising the possibility that the victims may have provoked Titania into escaping the zoo confounds in order to chase them down in an act of violent revenge. One young man is dead, two others injured.

The same tiger, a 4-year-old Siberian, last year caused injury to her keeper and the zoo was faulted and fined by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. This time around, ending up in a zoo eatery, she was shot dead by arriving police officers.

According to the Washington Post, “The San Francisco Zoo's director of animal care and conservation, Robert Jenkins, said he had no idea how the tiger, which weighed more than 300 pounds, escaped. ‘There was no way out through the door,’ he said. ‘The animal appears to have climbed or otherwise leaped out of the enclosure.’”

What a sad tragedy. Carlos Souza, age 17, is dead. Will zoo patrons in the future be warned not to try teasing or provoking the animals? And should those animals, in any event, not be properly contained in cages or compounds that are non-escapable?

Or is it possible that somebody purposely liberated Tatiana from captivity?

Had this happened at a circus, what would they be saying? I wonder this morning.

1 comment:

henry edgar said...

had this tragic event taken place at a circus, animal rights organizations would be screaming and demandithe removal of big cats as well as elephants. it's ironic how quiet they've been versus how loudly they ranted and raved over the deathe of a sea lion in one case and the death of a lion aboard a ringling train. there is something about this incident that we do not know; tigers don't just walk out of their cages and when a tiger escapes, it is usually more frightened of people than people are frightened. in all probability, this was not the fault of the zoo. i hope there is no backlash toward zoos over this but if they start demanding that wild animals be banned from public exhibition, i'm sure circus wiol bear the brunt of it.