Zoo tiger attacks: I am for the tiger

Yes, I always support the tiger and blame the people. I always feel sorry for the tiger. When the tiger is shot I always feel very sad and upset. I don’t have much in the way of thoughts about the person who might have been injured or killed. I have sympathy for the injured people but my true sympathies and feelings are for the tiger. I don’t consider myself some sort of crazy animal activist (they are never crazy, by the way). I just like animals and want them to get a fair deal and be treated with respect.

Here is an example of why I feel like this…

Tatiana Memorial
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Tatiana Memorial. Photo by nayrb7

TATIANA – a Siberian tiger

This is the story as I read it from Wikipedia. The facts of what happened are not clear so what follows is not completely factual but what might or possibly did happened.

Three young men drive up to the San Francisco Zoo. They have been drinking a bit and taking cannabis. Their names were Carlos Eduardo Sousa Jr., and brothers, Amritpal “Paul” and Kulbir Dhaliwal.

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It is believed that these men wanted to lark around and taunted Tatiana who was in her concrete bunker (“grotto”). Her home was surrounded by a concrete wall almost 13 feet high. It is thought that the men used slingshots to attack Tatiana. It appears to have been highly provocative behavior. All of this is denied through their lawyer.

Well, Tatiana climbed her concrete wall! Yes, chips of concrete were found in her paws. She got out of a place that was meant to imprison her. The motivation to get out was, it seems, to attack those who allegedly attacked and taunted her.

Tatiana got to Carlos quickly and killed him with bites to the head and neck that fractured bones and a cut jugular vein. The brothers ran to a café, leaving a trial of blood. They were chased by Tatiana. They had been severely injured with deep scratches and bites. A zoo employee called 911.

The police took a while to get there partly because the zoo was locked down. There was chaos. The marksmen waited until Tatiana was sufficiently distanced from one of the brothers. The tiger was distracted, turned to face the police and the zoo staff and was shot through the forehead. I presume she was shot elsewhere too.

Tigers are amazingly tough and several bullets are often needed to kill them. She was cut up (and her paws cut off) and an autopsy (for animals it is called a “necropsy“) carried out. There was no human flesh in her stomach.

I hate the idea of cutting her paws off and cutting her up. Why? It is just seems unnecessarily brutal to me and compounds the whole sorry human mess.

I predict that one day there will be no tigers in the wild unless the tigers of Bhutan ensure their survival. Once they are extinct in the wild they will become extinct in zoos due to inbreeding causing sterility. The gene pool of zoo cats is limited.

The whole disaster is man made, humans created the chaos from beginning to the end. The beginning was putting a tiger in a concrete “grotto” when in the wild they have ranges that are massive. This is cruel.

The zoo enclosure was not safe, apparently. The wall should have been taller. It should have been over 16 feet tall, which tells you how bloody amazing tigers are, how athletic they are and how they should be allowed to express those skills in the wild.

For a tiger to jump and climb a concrete wall almost 13 feet tall shows us how desperate she was to get out. At least the bloody zoo let her keep her claws. A lot places have tigers declawed which damn near cripples them sometimes.

If a person cares about treating animals fairly and decently I believe that person is bound to come down on the side of the tiger under these circumstances.

There are other instances of tigers attacking zoo staff at zoos in their cage. The tiger can never be blamed. When you think about it, all the blame must be with the people. People put the tiger in the cage. People walk into the cage and fail to ensure the tiger could not get into the cage they are in etc. etc.

Humans create the conditions under which they are attacked by tigers.

Tigers should not be shot with bullets but with tranquillizers. When it comes to zoo tiger attacks, I am for the tiger everytime.

Note: Caroline, a PoCer asked me to write about Tatiana. I have and it hurts as usual.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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35 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    Well, it certainly isn’t a perfect world that we cohabitate, is it. Ruth, I truly don’t believe that ANY animal belongs to a human–we’re caretakers. If the animal chooses us, wow, that is a wonderful feeling. I wish that the zoos didn’t exist either.

  2. Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

    Who allowed those drug crazed idiots into the zoo anyway? Surely there should be someone at the gate taking the entry fee and someone checking the visitors are not abusing the animals!
    I HATE zoos with a passion, they are just money making peep shows at the expense of animals who should be living free.
    R.I.P Tatiana and I hope Karma strikes all involved with her miserable un-natural life and needless cruel death.

    • Caroline says:

      I hope so too. I am not pro-Zoo. We have a Children’s Zoo in Lincoln, nebraska, that does not keep species that require a large range of habitat. I wish that it wasn’t called a zoo, but the wallabies, river otters and small monkey spp. are kept in large enclosures. Only the peacocks/hens are allowed to roam freely.

      • Michael says:

        that does not keep species that require a large range of habitat

        I guess you are referring to species other than cats? All wild cats, small or large, have large ranges. The world’s smallest cat (a wild cat species) – the rusty spotted cat – probably has a home range (territory) of several hectares or more. No enclosures or cages are large enough for cats. This is because it is not commercially viable to have enclosures that are the same size as the cat’s territory in the wild.

    • Caroline says:

      Ruth, those young men may have not paid to get in; that’s an interesting question. But keep in mind, as well you can imagine, the employees at the front gates at each turnstyle, are employed by the zoo to do basically a simple job: take money. give entrance. No doubt they are trained to look out for ‘crazies,’ but any adult -even when drug-influenced- can manage to look ‘normal’ enough to gain entry. I have to go back to one of my old hard drives to get the info on what time they entered the zoo…

      • Caroline says:

        Bottom line is this, the well-established, respectively high-ethical standard zoos are not going to vanish like our wild animal habitats anytime soon. so sad that I can make this comment. Mistakes are made at every level all of the time; we can only hope that lessons are learned quickly, truly. I am very depressed, but it’s not so bad that it will keep me from acting in a positive, constructive manner.

      • Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

        The owner of any zoo has a duty to protect the animals he/she is making money out of, no excuses, wild animals were not meant to be confined, they are not the property of humans even though some seem to think they are.

        • Caroline says:

          You just brought up an interesting perspective. I never looked at it that before. Guess I always assumed that zoos were non-profit; existing to educate and to turn their profits back to actively helping improve the plight ofthe species nearing extinction and to educate mainly,, not to exploit their ‘menagerie.’ You are helping me to view this in a different light. Too many mistakes are made (such as being unable to filter the mass public), so many, that it is not a good idea to continue doing the same old thing…it needs to change. The zoo per se, as you said, probably was never a good idea in the first place. You are convincing me of that.

  3. Caroline says:

    I do not respect most. But Henry Doorly well, just understand that I am pro-tiger… you know that I am. We all are doing what we can.


  4. Michael, as a speculator, earning my livelihood through speculative investments i am predicting that the “TIGER” will become extinct in India’s jungles in another 50 years if deforestation continues.I gauge my predictions after having visited “Bandhavgarh Tiger National Park” in June this year.Bandhavgarh is supposed to have the highest tiger density/Sq km of forest land amont the tiger National parks in India. Read my blog to understand my reasoning as i can’t explain the same in just a few paragraphs.Link :- http://trektours.blogspot.in/

    • Michael says:

      Thanks Rudolph. I predict something similar. About 50 years is correct. One near certainty is that the tiger will become extinct. Humankind just does not have the ability to live side by side with the tiger on planet earth. Sad. I still plan to do an article about your visit to the tiger reserve.

      • Caroline says:

        Michael, this is the one saving grace of highest-caliber zoos in the U.S.
        They do breed in captivity, as we all know. That is not my point. My point is this: these zoos do not introduce inbreeding into the gene pool. I once upon a time told you this, when I was privy to a mating at the Henry Doorly, in Omaha.

        • Michael says:

          Caroline, the gene pool of all wild cats in zoos is very narrow. There are not enough cats in the pool. This automatically results in inbreeding. Sorry if you are saying that wild cats in zoos are not inbred you are wrong.

          Overall wild cats in captivity are not well managed.

          • Caroline says:

            Thank you. Michael. My comment was a bit rash. I did not mean to say that there is no inbreeding. Which reminds me, those poor Persians did not ask for such stupidity from humans, did they? Why would our species do this to the little creatures; did they have a say in the matter? Ask TICA or the CFA, perhaps.

        • Caroline says:

          Sorry, I should have said, these zoos do not introduce any more inbreeding into this species’ gene pool than that of their native habitat, in fact far less. Keep in mind, that native habitat is far more restricted now than it should be. Even still, these zoos, meaning those of the highest ethical standards, are very careful to maintain the widest, largest gene pool possible.

          • Michael says:

            Yes, there is inbreeding with respect to some wild cat species in the wild because humans don’t give wild cats enough space. Tigers are a good example. The small wild cat species are probably not inbred – yet. The Siberian tiger is very inbred. Island (enclosed and limited) reserves or territories result in the gradual extinction of a wild cat species. This is due to people.

  5. Caroline says:

    Michael, Marc, everybody here, I am going in to the loo now, to contemplate what I can do to help.

    • Caroline says:

      I only say that, wasn’t to sound egotistical, I just need all the help that I can get from all of you. We all do.

  6. marc says:

    This is horrible and those men are horrible – I hate them for what they did. If she hadn’t managed to kill one of them she would have lost even more. This is incredibly sad. What on EARTH did they do to get that response out of her. I would almost have laughed at them had I seen this, right when the tiger climbed out the cage – just to see the look on their sorry stupid faces. 2 got off lucky. Nature is fair sometimes and here it wasn’t but most people would not agree with me as to my reasoning for that comment.

    • Michael says:

      As my title says, I support the tiger and in this case I have little sympathy for the people. It is terribly one sided. The tiger loses whatever happens. I understand that lots of people like zoos but personally, I’d close them all down tomorrow and completely rethink our relationship with animals starting from the beginning.

      • Caroline says:

        I fully agree with you, Michael. And thank you for placing Tatiana on your site. Our site. 🙂

        I will be editing the Wikipedia page again. It is too often edited in favor of the stupid, mean young men who did this to her. sigh. We all need to reresearch this, and put it on the page.

    • Caroline says:

      Marc, if I had been there (I’m certain that you would have too) at closing time, at the time that this occurred, I would -with my 125lb. body, tried to take on all three of them, to distract them from hurting her. !!! grrr…

    • Caroline says:

      I would have had my adrenaline surging by that time, and I would not worry about Tatiana attacking me, b/c I would have been attacking them, neanderthals that exist in our still-to this-day-barbaric world! My adrenaline would have gotten the better of them, for Her sake. [And I am always ready, to give up my Life for a worthy cause. bless her soul, Tatiana…]

    • Caroline says:

      Marc, She scaled the wall, claws outstretched, doing the best that she could to get back at them for being so, so unkind. Bless her Soul. [my tears are falling] She did not deserve to be treated this way. She was a female
      Siberian that [tears are rolling now down both cheeks like a waterfall. I don’t cry.] She was a Siberian tiger that the SF zookeepers of the big cats should have known that she deserved, deserved to be returned to a sanctuary, she deserved that. eos.

  7. Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

    I’m for the tiger too and I feel very sad about Tatiana.
    Imprisoning her in a concrete grotto was very cruel and then for idiots to taunt her must have made her frustration and despair turn to anger and the need for revenge.
    Where were the zoo staff while those idiots were ‘larking about’
    It’s a pity Tatiana didn’t kill all three of them as she was killed herself anyway.
    That poor tiger was let down by humans, the grieving zoo patron and all, from the moment she was captured until the moment she was shot dead.

    • Caroline says:

      Ruth, you can bet that those keepers of the big cats at the SF Zoo are making sure that they are on hyper-alert now, at closing time. (That is when the stupid, drug-addled -not just marijuana, mind you- were doing their pre-meditated harassing.)

      • Caroline says:

        “Pre-meditated,” mind you. Those sonsofagun were looking for “entertainment” in their drug-addled state. The police a lot more than just marijuana. No feeble excuses, Michael, for these fools.

  8. Harvey Harrison says:

    A 13 ft high wall is nothing much for a tiger. The mystery is why it didn’t get out sooner. The Zoo showed extreme incompetence when they were not at all prepared for such an eventuality and did not have a tranquillizer gun and dart quickly available. Because of this a valuable tiger was lost and also the huge investment of time and money was wasted. This is what stupid thoughtless people do. I wonder if those who provoked this incident sued the Zoo, and then the Zoo would sue them for the provocation.

    • Caroline says:

      Harvey, the barricade is, was, much more than 13 ft. The concrete wall, itself, was ~13ft. Tatiana was badly, cruelly, provoked by the two young men who participated. (I followed this closely, ever-so-closely, after it took place. The keepers AND the police found a shoe that belonged to one of the men. There were stones, foreign to the enclosure that had been thrown/slung by the young men. There were two patrons that saw this.

      There were NO zoo employees with tranquizing rifles.

      Tatiana, bless her soul, had never ever tried to escape except when taunted by those stupid humans who had the freedom! to yell, taunt, and throw rocks. grrrrrrrrr…

      • Michael says:

        I won’t tell you what I would like to do to the humans who provoked her, the person who shot her and the bloody zoo who imprisoned her and the blasted people who placed her in the zoo.

        I pretty much hate them all. I don’t want to hear any feeble excuses for not hating them.

        • Caroline says:

          I just don’t know how to judge any longer, Michael, on a case by case basis, given all of the facts (which does not happen 99% of the time, as you well know better than most of us). But I will agree with you that in the case of big cats, they should not be held in zoos. There has got to be a better way to educate. Obiviously, some people use the zoos as a means of entertaining their own stupidity a nd animosity. sigh… I hate them.

        • Caroline says:

          You sed “bloody” to describe the SF zoo, not reserved for the stupid, hateful, entertainment-seeking-at Tatiana’s-expense, assholes? They are the major culprits here.

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