Police suspend tiger attack investigation
By Ari Burack
January 30, 2008
San Francisco police yesterday announced they have suspended
their criminal investigation into the Christmas Day tiger attack
at San Francisco Zoo.
Police reported the investigation has been suspended "pending
new witnesses being interviewed and/or new evidence being produced."
The zoo's Siberian tiger Tatiana escaped as the zoo was closing
on Dec. 25, killing 17-year old Carlos Sousa Jr., of San Jose,
and seriously injuring two of Sousa's friends, brothers Amritpal
Dhaliwal, 19, and Kulbir Dhaliwal, 23.
The tiger was subsequently shot dead by San Francisco police.
Zoo officials have said they believe the tiger was somehow provoked
out of her enclosure but accepted fault Monday for Tatiana's escape.
"Under no circumstances is it OK for an animal to escape,"
Zoological Society board chairman Nick Podell said at a Board
of Supervisors committee hearing,
Monday. "I want to deliver a mea culpa for the zoo."
Despite speculation that the victims may have taunted the tiger
before it escaped, and that drinking may have been involved, no
charges have been filed against the Dhaliwals.
"No charges have been filed as of yet," said police
spokesman Sgt. Steve Mannina, adding, "the case is not closed."
Sousa's family and the Dhaliwals have each hired high-profile
attorneys, Michael Cardoza and Mark Geragos, respectively, as
city officials anticipate lawsuits against the city and the zoo.