San Francisco Zoo tiger kills one, mauls two
on Christmas Day
Tatiana, a Siberian tiger, escaped from her grotto at the San
on Christmas Day killing one man and mauling two others
before authorities shot and killed the apex predator.
Photo courtesy siouxcityjournal.com
By Mike Aldux
December 26, 2007
A Siberian tiger somehow escaped from her grotto at the San
Francisco Zoo yesterday, killing one person and seriously injuring
two others in a horrific Christmas Day rampage.
The attacks were carried out by the same tiger, named Tatiana,
who attacked and injured her zookeeper during a public feeding
in December 2006, zoo officials said.
The 350-pound Tatiana somehow escaped her pen just past the zoo's
5 p.m. closing hour and killed a man in his 20s standing near
the tiger exhibit, police said.
Then, about 300 yards away, two more visitors - brothers ages
20 and 23 - were attacked near a zoo cafe. Four San Francisco
police officers shot and killed the tiger as it was mauling one
of the victims.
The injured brothers suffered multiple lacerations and were rushed
to San Francisco General Hospital in serious but stable condition,
Police are still at the zoo investigating the crime scenes and
conducting ground and air searches of the property, making certain
there weren't more victims, San Francisco police Sgt. Steve Mannina
"We're going to search the area thoroughly and systematically
from now through the daylight hours," he said.
Mannina said the Police Department has not received any missing
Meanwhile, police and zoo officials are trying to figure out
how Tatiana escaped the grotto. Zoo officials say the tiger may
have jumped a waterless moat surrounding the tiger exhibit.
The moat is 20-feet deep and between 15-to-18-feet wide, zoo
Three other tigers were confined in the grotto but only Tatiana
got out, said San Francisco Fire Department spokesman Lt. Ken
Mayor Gavin Newsom spokesperson Nathan Ballard issued the following
statement on the tragedy:
"The Mayor is deeply saddened to hear the news about the
victims of the incident at the San Francisco Zoo this evening.
The police responded immediately to the scene during the incident
and have killed the tiger that caused the fatality. This tiger
was the only animal that escaped its enclosure. The Police Department
has secured the scene with the aid of the Fire Department and
the Department of Animal Care and Control. A thorough investigation
is being undertaken to uncover all the facts and to understand
how this tragedy could have occurred. Our thoughts and prayers
are with the victims' families."
Police are encouraging anyone who witnessed the attack to please
call the San Francisco Police Department General Work Detail at
(415) 553-1141. The zoo will remain closed Wednesday, zoo officials
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