Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 25th, 2007
Tatiana, San Francisco Zoo’s Siberian tiger, attacked three men, killing one.
Infrequently, discussions occur here about escaped animals, mostly as alleged explanations for cryptid animals.
When a situation such as the following does occur, the fact is that the animal is quickly caught, returned to captivity, or killed.
This is a sudden, sad, and startling story for Christmas Day.
San Francisco, California – Police say a tiger escaped from its cage at the San Francisco Zoo today, killing one visitor and injuring two others.
Several police officers shot the tiger to death when it started moving toward a group of them.
It was not immediately clear how the tiger escaped.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports the attack took place in a cafe at the east end of the zoo shortly after closing time. The tiger cages are near the center of the zoo.
Police say officials were initially worried that four tigers had escaped. But only one got out of its pen.
A year ago, one of the zoo’s tigers mauled a zookeeper during a regular public feeding. The 350-pound animal reached through the cage’s iron bars and badly lacerated her arm.“Tiger escapes cage at San Francisco Zoo, killing 1 and injuring 2,” Associated Press – December 25, 2007 10:53 PM ET.
Update December 26, 2007:
Early rumors that four tigers had escaped Christmas night and were terrorizing the zoo proved to be false.
There are five tigers at the zoo – three Sumatrans and two Siberians. Officials initially worried that four tigers had escaped, but soon learned only one had escaped its pen.
It was determined that the killer tiger was the same one that a year ago had mauled a keeper.
On December 22, 2006, Tatiana, a Siberian tiger, reached through her cage’s iron bars and attacked a keeper with her claws and teeth, causing deep lacerations to the worker’s arms. 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. A medical claim filed against the city by the keeper was denied.