BREAKING: Tiger dead, 1 person dead, 2 injured at SF Zoo

Tatiana, the SF Zoo Siberian tiger which attacked a keeper last year, was the same animal involved in tonight’s attack, reports say. SF Chronicle photo.

A Siberian tiger was shot dead tonight at the San Francisco Zoo after attacking at least three people. KGO TV news was reporting that four tigers were loose in the zoo’s grounds at one point, and that dozens of police responded to the zoo with guns drawn.

By 6:05 pm all big cats were accounted for, and two people were at San Francisco General Hospital with injuries.

The attack took place just over a year after the same Siberian tiger attacked a keeper at SF Zoo. Cal-OSHA issued a report in June saying the zoo was at fault for the attack, in which the keeper lost an arm. The 46-year-old zoo employee is suing the zoo, according to reports tonight.

The zoo continued to exhibit Tatiana after the 2006 attack. View the SF Zoo’s Siberian Tigers page.

6:18 pmSF Gate reports one person is dead and two injured.

6:21 pmKCBS radio is reporting one man dead and two men critically injured. KGO TV said that after attacking at least one person, the tiger bolted toward a zoo restaurant, and was shot and killed there.

6:36 pm — KCBS radio reports:

  • All three men who were attacked were zoo patrons, not workers, and were attacked not in or near the tiger’s pen, but outside the Terrace Cafe.
  • The dead man was 23 years old; the two survivors, whom a paramedic described as having wounds “all over” their bodies, were brothers aged 19 and 18 23, friends of the victim.

6:38 pmSF Gate reports the attack took place at 5:17 pm. Though it was initially reported that four tigers were loose, the zoo’s other three tigers never left their enclosure. Before all the animals were accounted for, “Firefighters were using tall ladders to shine flashlights into the zoo through the dense eucalyptus trees.”

7:09 pm — A reporter on KCBS said:

  • The Terrace Cafe where the attacks took place is 60 yards from the tiger’s pen.
  • The tiger was killed while mauling one of the survivors; police shot the tiger.

KGO TV news footage showed the dead tiger lying on its side on what appeared to be a walkway.

7:28 pm — An Associated Press story updates some details:

The tiger was shot after the last attack. It had climbed on top of the victim, but started moving toward a group of approaching police officers. Several officers shot it with handguns.

8:00 pm — Reports are now saying the tiger involved in tonight’s attack was Tatiana (pictured above), the same animal which attacked a keeper just over a year ago.

8:36 pm — The AP is clarifying that the tiger attack took place outside the Terrace Cafe, not inside as some early reports had it.

9:08 pm — The two survivors are reported to be in serious but stable condition at SF General Hospital; one of them walked to the ambulance, according to KCBS, which also reported that zoo officials were looking into the possibility that the rampaging tiger escaped by jumping the 20-foot moat that separates its enclosure from the public.

7 Comments so far

  1. Richard (unregistered) on December 25th, 2007 @ 7:34 pm

    This is horrible news, for the families of the victims and the city of sf. I hope the two who survived will recover fully. And I hope the zoo can get their act together asap. Putting aside the idea of a zoo for a second, the sf zoo has been a good experience for my family over the past few years. It’s a damn shame in such a concentration of wealth this zoo can’t see clear to make it a safe place. For the animals and the visitors.

  2. m.s. (unregistered) on December 25th, 2007 @ 8:47 pm

    Frustrated with the lack of information on SFGate and the local news outlets, I Googled "San Francisco News Blogs" and stumbled onto this site. The news here is clear and concise, and more current than anywhere else at this moment – even This is a tragedy, and worse I had a friend who’d headed over to the SF Zoo a few hours ago. Luckily for us, she’s completely safe…but the lack of forthright info from other sites just proves how essential these local blogs are. Thanks so much for the updates.

  3. Jenny (unregistered) on December 26th, 2007 @ 12:28 pm

    A wild animal is just that – Wild. What do you think think this tiger would have done if taunted on her turf in her original habitat? Do your homework. She would have done the EXACT same thing. Again she is an animal and again she is wild – I am more concerned of the well being of San Francisco folks who are protected by the police who thought a wild animal would understand the word – "Stop". Most humans don’t know the meaning of that word BUT they have the capability to understand that word. NOT a wild animal. The Tiger, should have NOT been killed but yet sedated. The Zoo should have made the habitat completely safe for the animal. The animal was murdered and deserved our protection since she was in our habitat. You are ignorant to think she is human and responsible for her own actions.

  4. John (unregistered) on December 27th, 2007 @ 9:53 pm

    I’ve read the accounts twice now and nowhere did I read the police yell "Stop" to the Tiger.Read the whole account before you make up things and accuse the police or anybody else for that matter.

  5. Jenny (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2008 @ 6:15 pm

    To John:
    No where did I say that the "stop" comment was in the written report above. In fact I did do my homework dear sir and in fact I am afraid you did not do yours. I was watching the CNN news on TV when the Asian Lady who I believed to be Head Police officer or Chief(but I do admit I missed her announcement on title). She did say several times during that interview the day after the attack that the Police Officers yelled "Stop" – but you are right – she may have been lying. I only repeated what I heard as I couldn’t believe on what she said. I am sorry to hear that a dead tiger is not more of a loss in your eyes.

  6. Old Yeller (unregistered) on January 5th, 2008 @ 11:57 am

    Should they have yelled OOGA BOOGA?

    Obviously they weren’t using English to appeal to the tiger’s senses: they were making startling sounds to distract the tiger from the victims.

    I work at a zoo, and am part of the emergency team there. What I find odd is the timing of this adding up to the police dealing with this rather than an on-grounds emergency team using tranquilizers.

  7. Jenny (unregistered) on January 13th, 2008 @ 3:12 pm

    OLD YELLER – I completely agree with you and that coincides with my point – I didn’t think the police should have been yelling period – where were the tranqs? I live on a ranch – granted now that cows/horses are more docile than a wild tiger BUT in the moment of what that tiger was going through – a Bull acts similarly. If you yelled at him(regardless of the words) he would spring the attack on you – feeling threatened – backed in a corner so to speak. Which is why i was confused on why the zoo onsite staff wasn’t shooting him with tranqs so the tiger’s responses would be slowed when approached?? Which i think would be safer for everyone..

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