Tatiana Update

Tatiana was the tiger that leaped from its enclosure in the San Francisco Zoo, killing one and wounding others.

Details of the investigation have been released, and apparently, the tiger was taunted.

One of the three victims of a San Francisco Zoo tiger attack was intoxicated and admitted to yelling and waving at the animal while standing atop the railing of the big cat enclosure, police say in court documents.
Paul Dhaliwal, 19, told the father of Carlos Sousa Jr., 17, who was killed, that the three yelled and waved at the tiger but insisted they never threw anything into its pen to provoke the cat, according to a search warrant affidavit obtained Thursday by the San Francisco Chronicle.
"As a result of this investigation, (police believe) that the tiger may have been taunted/agitated by its eventual victims," according to Inspector Valerie Matthews, who prepared the affidavit. Police believe that "this factor contributed to the tiger escaping from its enclosure and attacking its victims," she said.
[hat tip: CMF]

If you go to that CNN site you can see a video regarding the first responders delayed response, and the usual chilling tape of one of the 911 calls.

Don't taunt the tigers, man.


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Jesus Christ on a crutch, all you have to do is LOOK at the damn things and realize you shouldn't taunt them!

That's a lot of pounds of mean machine, with teeth and claws.

I say give the guy his Darwin Award and move on.

And five of their six ends are pointy...

People have been suckered into thinking they're safe. I don't know if these kids just thought the tiger couldn't get out, or didn't realize what would happen if she did. 17-year-olds aren't big in the "I'm mortal" thought department.

But adults can be as stupid. I remember seeing parents send their kid to pet the sleeping sea lion in Carmel, years ago. (I was too far away to stop him.) Luckily, the kid only ended up with an arm slashed open.

Just another example of people thinking "Hey it's a big, dumb animal and I'm a smart human who put you in a cage that you cannot escape from so I can do anything I want." Maybe if more instances like this happened (which would be tragic by the way) the general public would understand just how intelligent animals (especially mammals) truly are. Hell, look at all the weapons can be made by prison inmates who barely have anything to work with. I have a degree and I couldn't think of half of those things. Putting an animal in a cage does not make it any less intelligent or crafty, it just pisses them off.

By Chad Estep (not verified) on 31 Jan 2008 #permalink

Tatiana the Taunted Tiger? Sounds like a bad kids book.

A few years ago in the Houston zoo a tiger punched out a small "shatterproof" window in a steel door and pulled a keeper through, killing him. It was a horrible, grisly, action, but also an incredible feat of intelligence and coordination. It must have planned and calculated the precise moment and amount of force very accurately. I hope to never meet an unrestrained tiger. They are awesome predators. And, yes, the teens are among the most deserving recipients of the Darwin Award for not being more respectful. (Tatiana's thought bubble: "That's it. These ugly apes are going down!") The evolution train has left a few homo sapiens "sapiens" behind.

By uncle noel (not verified) on 31 Jan 2008 #permalink

As expected, they were taunting the tiger. However, it should still not be possible for a dangerous predator to escape from a zoo enclosure.

By Virgil Samms (not verified) on 31 Jan 2008 #permalink

I worked in a large zoo 1979-1982. The things humans do in a zoo are beyond belief --- or were before 1979! I was quite fond of a certain tiger and a certain clouded leopard and they seemed to enjoy seeing me (they were very bored), but I was never so foolish as to think that we'd get along without all that iron and concrete. Anybody who has lived with a so-called domestic cat should appreciate that while a 14 pounder may regard you as her staff, to be mildly chastised occasionally, a 400 pounder in a cage has absolutely no reason to think that you're too useful to disassemble.

By stillwaggon (not verified) on 31 Jan 2008 #permalink