City officials respond to tiger attack probe
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 Ari Burack
December 28, 2007
San Francisco city officials said Thursday they are waiting
for the investigation into the Christmas Day fatal tiger attack
at the San Francisco Zoo to conclude before making any decisions
on the city's relationship with the public-private zoo.
Supervisor Tom Ammiano called the attack on three visitors Tuesday
"We shouldn't rush to judgment," he added, commenting
on reports the walls enclosing the tiger exhibit are lower than
the standards of a national zoo accrediting organization, or that
the victims may have goaded the tiger before it escaped.
"It's just a matter of getting all the facts," Ammiano
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said the "horrific and extraordinary"
mauling "certainly will raise questions" as the city's
contract with the zoo comes up for review next year. Issues of
responsibility and liability, as well as possible safety protocol
reforms, will also be considered, he added.
Supervisors Ammiano and Mirkarimi agreed safety issues at the
zoo would likely come up for a hearing by the board at a later
date, but doubted that the zoo would be ordered closed outright.
"Everybody will need to review the safety procedures, but
we need more information," Mirkarimi said.
"If San Francisco is going to have a zoo, we have to make
sure we have the finest zoo possible, so that people feel safe,
and the animals are well protected and cared for," Mirkarimi
According to Mirkarimi, the San Francisco Zoo is jointly governed
in the private sector by the San Francisco Zoological Society,
and by the city under its Recreation and Parks Department.
The city, which provides the land and facilities for the zoo,
shares a portion of the zoo's profits, according to Ammiano.
Recreation and Parks Department General Manager Yomi Agunbiade
said he was not sure whether the zoo would be discussed at the
Recreation and Parks Commission next meeting Jan. 17.
"We're all in an information gathering posture right now,"
Agunbiade said. "We don't want to make any pronouncements
that are premature."
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