Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Forget About Osama, the ZOO Is More Dangerous!

Tatiana, the bad tiger.

Zoo Officials Probe Killing by Tiger
By JORDAN ROBERTSON – 7 hours ago

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Zoo was closed to visitors and considered a crime scene Wednesday as investigators attempted to determine how a tiger escaped from its enclosure and attacked three visitors, killing one of the men and mauling two others.

The tiger, a female named Tatiana, was the same animal that ripped the flesh off a zookeeper's arm just before Christmas 2006 (bd: real nice tiger!). An investigation of that incident by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health faulted the zoo, which beefed up the pen where big cats are kept. (bd: if you call 1 guy dead, 2 maimed, and the flesh eaten off a guy's arm "beefed up".).

The three men — one of them 19 years old and the others in their early 20s — were attacked just after 5 p.m (the tiger had just finished watching "Three's Company" rerun first). Tuesday on the east end of the 125-acre zoo grounds near Ocean Beach, police spokesman Steve Mannina said.

They suffered "pretty aggressive bite marks," Mannina said. (bd: as opposed to your "run of the mill" tiger bites, like when a tiger bites you "non-agressively"...only wants to taste you a little)

Police searched the zoo grounds during the night, using searchlights and thermal imaging equipment, and again during daylight, and were confident there were no other victims, Chief Heather Fong said at a news conference Wednesday (bd: THEY DIDN'T CATCH THE FUCKING TIGER YET??????????????).

Fong said police deemed the area a crime scene "because we're not certain why the incident occurred (bd: because the tiger was hungry?)— as result of human action or whether this was an incident where the animal was able to get out of the grotto (bd: we just ate at Grotto Pizza)."

Investigators were gathering physical evidence and taking statements from witnesses (bd: a coupla monkeys and a rhino saw the whole thing!), Fong said. She declined to comment on what the surviving victims said about the attack, saying that the investigation was continuing.

Fong added that to her knowledge there was no video footage of the attack (bd: Hey! A tiger's eating us! Anyone got their video camera?).

The San Francisco medical examiner had not been able to identify the dead man (bd: because he was eaten!), investigator Tim Hellman said Wednesday. The man did not have any identification and no one had called asking about him, according to Hellman (bd: Ring. Ring. Hello? Is the guy who just got eaten by the tiger there?).

The zoo's director of animal care and conservation, Robert Jenkins, could not explain how the 300-pound tiger escaped. The tiger's enclosure is surrounded by a 15-foot-wide moat and 20-foot-high walls, and the big cat did not leave through an open door, he said (bd: Did you check if there were any recent helicopter rentals?).

"There was no way out through the door," Jenkins said. "The animal appears to have climbed or otherwise leaped out of the enclosure. (bd: hmmmm....real safe zoo, eh? especially since the zookeeper had the flesh eaten off his arm just last year by the same tiger!)"

Jack Hanna, the director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and a frequent guest on nationally televised talk shows, predicted that other U.S. zoos would reassess their tiger enclosures if it turns out the tiger was able to leap out (bd: What about the helicopter angle?).

"This is a first in this country," Hanna said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "I've never heard of an individual (zoo visitor) being killed by an animal. It's much safer going to a zoo than getting in your car and going down the driveway (bd: except if you get eaten by a tiger...)."

Hanna said he wasn't familiar with the San Francisco Zoo's tiger exhibit or with Tatiana, but he said that since zoo tigers are well fed, it's unlikely the animal was looking for food (bd: maybe desert).

Hanna said he wanted to know if anyone was teasing the tiger. "Were they taunting the animal? I don't know that right now," he said. "Were they throwing things that were making it angry? (bd: If you taunt a tiger at the San Francisco zoo...YOU DESERVE TO DIE!!! GODDAMMIT!!! Apparently, no one ever teased a tiger before, or they would've gotten eaten sooner than this!)"

The two injured men, ages 19 and 23, were upgraded to stable condition Wednesday at San Francisco General Hospital after surgery to clean and close their wounds (bd: thanks for the graphic many stitches???), said surgeon Rochelle Dicker. They suffered deep bites and claw cuts on their heads, necks, arms and hands (bd: You shoulda seen duh other guy!).

Dicker said they were shaken up emotionally and would remain hospitalized for the day, but that because of their youth they would make a full recovery (bd: SF Zoo giving them 50% discount next visit).

The officers who shot the animal were alerted by a 911 call from a zoo employee (bd: Oh! They were searching the grounds for dead zoo visitors, not the tiger!).

The first attack happened right outside the Siberian's enclosure (bd: I HATE that goddam Siberian guy!) — the victim died at the scene. A group of four officers came across his body when they entered the dark zoo grounds, Mannina said.

The second victim was about 300 yards away, in front of the Terrace Cafe. The man was sitting on the ground, blood running from gashes in his head and Tatiana sitting next to him (bd: I was just wondering, where was all the security as all of this was going on?).

The cat attacked the man again, Mannina said. The officers approached the tiger with their handguns. Tatiana moved in their direction and several of the officers fired, killing the animal (bd: why didn't they just "taser" the tiger?).

Only then did they see the third victim, who had also been mauled (bd: sounds like a lot of shit going on, without much security, at least to me!).

Although no new visitors were let in after 5 p.m (bd: "The maulings are over, whaddya say we let some new visitors in??? Please! Don't pay attention to the 2 mauled visitors and the one dead guy, we shot the need to ruin your plans for a nice day at the zoo!). Tuesday, the grounds had not been not scheduled to close until an hour later, and 20 to 25 people were still in the zoo when the attacks happened, zoo officials said (bd: I think we should close the zoo early, what do youze guys think?).

The zoo was expected to reopen Thursday, but its executive director, Manuel Mollinedo, said the big cat exhibits will remain closed "until we get a better understanding of what actually happened. (bd: Let me help you out: a tiger got loose, killed a guy, and almost killed 2 others. Does that clear things up for you a little bit???)"

Zoo officials working with experts from other zoos will re-evaluate the big cat facilities "so we can have a better way of managing these animals in the future," Mollinedo said (bd: Yeah! Like how about managing to NOT LET THEM KILL VISITORS!!!!!!!).

There were five tigers at the zoo — three Sumatrans and two Siberians (bd: Scratch that! FOUR tigers!).

On Dec. 22, 2006, Tatiana reached through the bars of her cage and grabbed a keeper, biting and mauling one of the woman's arms and causing deep lacerations (bd: WHAT THE....??? IS GOING ON THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!). The zoo's Lion House was temporarily closed during an investigation. California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health blamed the zoo for the assault and imposed a $18,000 penalty (bd: HOLY CHRIST! What kind of a zoo is this???).

After that attack, the zoo added customized steel mesh over the bars, built in a feeding chute and increased the distance between the public and the cats (bd: Leading to the tiger inevitably escaping and killing someone!!!).

Mollinedo said zoo officials did not consider putting Tatiana down after the earlier attack (bd: But thought that ripping someone's arm off wasn't that bad) But , because in that case "the tiger was acting as a normal tiger does."

Tatiana arrived at the San Francisco Zoo from the Denver Zoo a few years ago, with zoo officials hoping she would mate with a male tiger (bd: But she ate him). Siberian tigers are classified as endangered and there are more than 600 of the animals living in captivity worldwide.

Associated Press writer Daisy Nguyen in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
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