Tiger beat: Was the moat too narrow?
As SF Zoo officials look at ways Tatiana the tiger escaped from her enclosure, this page from the Tiger Missing Link Foundation suggests:
A tiger moat should be a minimum of 7 m wide at the top and a minimum of 5 m high on the visitors’ side. This moat wall should be sheer and unclimbable.
Seven meters — that’s almost 23 feet. The enclosure at the SF Zoo has a moat 15 feet wide and 20 feet tall, according to a SF Chronicle story.
Another page on the site has a tiger escape protocol.
Update: An AP story has several new details, including a report that officials are looking into whether the victim taunted the tiger into attacking.
Tigers escape from captivity surprisingly often, a web search indicates. Just last month, a sheriff’s deputy shot and killed an escaped tiger in Iowa. In February 2005, an escaped tiger was killed near Simi Valley, Calif; another tiger escaped through an unlocked door at the Tampa zoo in August 2006 and was killed.