Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tiger Kills at San Fran Zoo

A Siberian tiger escaped from the enclosure at San Francisco's zoo and killed a 17-year-old boy on Christmas Day. Two friends of the boy - brothers - were mauled but are recovering in San Francisco General Hospital.

Police shot the tiger, called Tatiana, dead.

Reports suggest the possibility of the tiger having jumped a 14 ft wall and forded a 25 - 30 ft moat to escape, or of being criminally let loose.

There were four other Siberian and Sumatran tigers in the Lion House who did not get out.

Last year Tatiana mauled the arm of a female keeper and the zoo was criticised for the design of the cages.

The zoo is set on 125 acres with over 250 species. Like the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey, it focuses on conservation and education.

We visited the zoo briefly only six weeks ago, although did not see the tigers, and were struck by how quiet it was. The highlighted features were four reindeer and an ice rink for children for Christmas.

Now the zoo is a major news item in many reports and broadcasts, including the BBC. However, the San Francisco Chronicle were first. The attack happened just after closing time at around 5 pm on Christmas Day and we were reading of the terrible event online early evening.

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