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.

1 Comment so far

  1. Peter (unregistered) on December 26th, 2007 @ 1:34 am

    maybe it _is_ understandable why someone would so tragically under-engineer a killer animal’s enclosure – because spec pages like that are totally incomprehensible.

    it’s time to close down the sf zoo for good. and then the rest of the zoos in the u.s., and then the world.

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