Friday, January 18, 2008
Taunting the tiger.. But who's fault?


Dan Simon
360 Correspondent


For weeks now, many have been wondering whether the victims in the San Francisco zoo tiger attack taunted the big cat. We now have an answer -- at least partially.


Police just released documents indicating that one of the two surviving brothers, Paul Dhaliwal, said they "were waving their hands and yelling at the tiger." This alleged confession came to the father of the victim who died. Dhaliwal also said the three of them were "standing on a railing looking at the tiger."

While this seems to be an acknowledgement that the brothers at least bothered the animal, it would seem the zoo is hardly off the hook. Shouting and yelling at the tiger. Wouldn't you think that kind of behavior happens all the time at zoos?

Indeed, the zoo still has a big problem. The wall of the tiger enclosure was 4 feet below national standard. While the brothers' actions may have contributed to the horrific incident, there is still no precise explanation as to how that tiger escaped.

Perhaps the zoo is hoping for some kind of compromise settlement, or a split verdict if the case ever reaches a verdict. A jury would have the option of saying something like, "the zoo is 80% responsible and the brothers are 20% responsible," or vice versa.

But for now, it looks like the brothers still have the upper hand.
Posted By CNN: 1:56 PM ET
  9 Comments
I agree Gary but there is a huge difference in yelling at a Tiger and hitting the Tiger with stuff like say from a slingshot. Sadly, while this was a tragedy, it’s one that we may never really know the whole story.

Marcy, Mobile,AL
Posted By Blogger beaslma : 2:06 PM ET
If money were not an issue, the zoo would be the first to admit that they were at fault. Sadly, the gross underfunding of wildlife establishments forces them to try to pass off some responsibility in an effort to conserve cash. Optimistically, they may see this as a media opportunity to educate society about the importance of respecting wild animals.
Posted By Anonymous Janna, Miami, FL : 2:22 PM ET
Hi Gary,
I don't think I have ever visited a zoo that I did'nt see someone teasing the animals.
I blame society for forcing wild animals out of their natural habitat and into confinement for our own entertainment.
"At his best, man is the nobelest of all creatures; separated from law and justice he is the worst."
Aristotle~


Betty Ann
Nacogdoches,TX
Posted By Blogger Betty Ann : 2:52 PM ET
This certainly isn't the cat's meow. What a mess. Rude people taunting animals, fences not quite high enough = a bad combination. As in most situations, there are numerous points of fault.

Lewis
Portland, Oregon
www.spiritofsaintlewis.blogspot.com
Posted By Blogger Lewis : 3:10 PM ET
While the boys were terribly wrong in teasing the tiger, regardless of what they did, the tiger should not have been able to escape.

There are reasons for national zoo standards, and if someone is hurt in any zoo as a result of a violation of those standards, then the zoo is responsible for anyone hurt due to the zoo's negligence.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 3:46 PM ET
I don't think it is fair that they entered her home and harrassed her prompting her to defend herself.

And when she chased them out, she was the one shot dead.

Yes the zoo is responsible for the deficit in the enclosure and the fact that she gored them but they have to be responsible for provoking the attack.

I read one statement that said she tore leg muscles attaching them, which proves she strained extremely to get out. She saught them out specifically and didn't attack "easier pray" in the courtyard....this was vengence for intruding into her home.

If it were humans, the boys would be called assailants and the tiger as a human would have been defending her home justly.....until she bit them....she is a wild animal after all.

I don't think the blame should be on Tatiana for the attack, she was doing what comes naturally to her.

The boys should have acted with decorum. The zoo needs to fix the enclosure and signs need to be posted to stop this in the future.

It is very tragic that a person lost their life over this. Hopefully this serves as a sobering reminder that these are wild animals no matter how enclosed they are in a domestic setting.
Posted By Anonymous Sabrina in Los Angeles : 3:54 PM ET
I must have been in a different universe, because what I read here isn't quite the same as I remember.

If the boys were indeed even half drunk, and smoking pot to boot, who can be sure they were only yelling and waving? They have already told one lie, why should they suddenly feel compelled to be truthful?

They say when they jumped down, off the rail the tiger was right there, coming out of the bushes. Right where? Outside the rail? There was something else happening, there were indications other things were on the ground inside.

Sorry, I mourn the loss of a beautiful tiger, one of only a few we have left. Of course I'm not saying they deserved what they got, but they are after all adults. A child might not know better, these "boys" should.

Maggie C.
GVMO
Posted By Anonymous MCasey Grain Valley, MO : 5:51 PM ET
fine, the wall may of been a bit lower than recommended....but you say that yelling and whatnot must go on all the time at zoos, correct? ok, then why haven't there been more attacks at zoos then? because i doubt people were actually on railings yelling and waving directly at the tiger.

to me, this is no different than someone who has an alarm system in their house. if someone breaks in, and ignores the alarm blaring, action will be taken. the men knew the tiger was there, probably thought the tiger would ignore them....but they were proven wrong. the tiger probably had had enough of the antics. i'm sorry, but i don't blame the zoo one bit. ---LIZ
Posted By Anonymous Liz in Virginia : 6:19 PM ET
Dan,

I knew the animal experts were right when they said there had to be something more to this story.

I agree that this type of behavior goes on in zoos all of the time and when I hear about it I often think, "who is the dumb animal here?" How ignorant could these men have been? Not only were they taunting the tiger, they were intoxicated and had marijuana in their systems, which I would imagine hampered their physical ability to flee from this animal.

I don't visit zoos; I don't believe in caging animals for human amusement, but I often thought that given the right circumstances any animal could find a way to escape. Just like humans, there will always be that exception to the rule who is smarter and stronger than the designers of any enclosure could imagine. I guess these three idiots found that exception.

I have said it before and I'll say it again, I have no sympathy when it comes to deliberate stupidity.

I will follow this story with great interest.

Jo Ann
North Royalton, Ohio
Posted By Blogger Jo Ann : 8:37 PM ET
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