Sad news out of San Francisco. The female Siberian tiger escaped her enclosure to kill a young man and wounded two others. She was shot and killed by police officers.
I've been trying to find out more about it but the new stories have been remarkably flash-in-the-pan. There was a big glut of stories till it turned out that the men may have been terrorizing the tiger and may have helped it escape by dangling their legs over the edge. Apparently, she jumped up a 12.5 foot wall (although some reports say 18). I don't know for sure how deep it was, but it looked much taller than two man-heights the last time I was there.
What is disturbing to me is 2 things. First the news reports were so full of misinformation, that I don't believe anything they say. This was the same tiger that scratched up her zookeeper in 2006, when the zookeeper stuck her arm in the cage during a feeding demonstration. Some news reports said she (tiger) ripped or chewed the zookeeper's arm off. Other reports said that the three guys who were attacked did not know each other and made it seem like the tiger was just wandering around mauling people. There were only 20 in the whole zoo at the time of the attack, there were no other witnesses around the cat enclosure. The two other men involved in the incident have not given statments to the police yet.
The second is the reaction against it. Yes, there are many people who think that teasing tigers is not a good idea. Yet the other half protest that the zoos are still responsible, no matter what the boys did. The SF zoo is putting up security cameras (which I think is a great thing, then they can fine people teasing the animals!), and are talking about electrified fences. Basically, to keep people from their own stupidity. But most outdoor cat enclosures in zoos are built the same way.
These people also cry shame on the other half, who believe that if the kids teased the tiger, then they are to blame. How can you be so insensitive, they cry. How can you value the tiger's life over the boy's?
She was part of a breeding program. There are less than 500 Siberian tigers left in the wild.