Archive for December, 2007

Local view on tiger thing

flamingos We were sitting around the breakfast table- extended family of locals consisting of two sisters (who are moms), their kids, our parents- and reading the article on the Tiger Thing. Various responses:
– “It’s depressing even thinking of a tiger in the zoo. They need space. At the San Diego Zoo they have a huge pen, but it’s still not big enough. The tiger was pacing, pacing, pacing.”
– “Sad, zoo attendance is really going to be hit.”
– “That cat exhibit is old.”

I started going to the zoo quite a bit a few years ago. If you go around 4:30- right when those 3 kids went- it’s half off and you can do a quick tour. I enjoy seeing the variety of wildlife, the activities of the animals, and the giraffes are truly inspiring in their gracefulness and beauty.

I remember taking my niece, then around 4, to the cat house and her screaming at it, “Wake up kitty kitty!” You know- obnoxious in that cute kid way (really). I like the zoo- it’s a little depressing- but hoping its educational potential outshines the depressing factor.

Reading “Life of Pi” gives you a really different take on tigers- and I agree that they probably just shouldn’t be in zoos.

Tiger beat: facts being sorted out

Yesterday SF Zoo officials admitted that they had been putting out incorrect information about the crucial dimensions of the security moat that failed to separate the public from the tiger enclose — the wall was only 12.5 feet high, not 20 feet high as was reported for the first two or three days. That makes a big difference, said experts. View an annotated photograph of the tiger enclosure, with dimensions marked.

Today police and fire dispatch logs were released, indicated a scene of chaos and confusion at the zoo. Zoo officials first told police that reports of a loose tiger were from crazy people, then refused to let police into the zoo for several minutes. According to zoo patrons, throughout the incident the zoo failed to warn patrons of the escaped tiger.

Tiger beat: clearance sale

The inevitable PETA press release on the tiger attack includes their open letter to SF Zoo director Manuel A. Mollinedo. has an interview with the dead man’s father. KPIX quotes zoo experts as saying it would have been very unlikely for a zoo tiger to have leapt over the 15-foot-wide moat around its enclosure, suggesting it might have had some kind of help, such as a board that enabled it to climb over the wall.

NPR was reporting that the three victims were together outside the tiger enclosure; when the tiger went for 17 year old Carlos Souza Jr., the two older men ran to a zoo restaurant, where the tiger pursued and attacked them. The SF Chronicle quotes zoo officials as saying the tiger may have injured at least one of them outside the tiger pen, then followed the trail of blood to the eatery. (See the map in last night’s original post.)

Also, this interesting detail is in the Chronicle story:

At one point, police said, zoo officials feared that the four other tigers that belong to the zoo were on the loose. Authorities said one zookeeper wanted to go into the large cat grotto to account for the remaining animals, and police had to physically restrain him.


Tiger beat: victim identified

art.sf.zoo.ap.jpgPolice this afternoon identified the man killed by the SF Zoo tiger as 17-year-old Carlos Souza Jr. of San Jose.

Some of the details of last night’s multiple maulings that are being clarified in the light of day:

Souza was killed just outside the tiger enclosure, not at the Terrace Cafe where the other two victims were mauled. The eatery is 300 yards from the enclosure, not 60 yards away, as some early reports had it.

Zoo officials are still insisting the only way the tiger got out of its enclosure was by jumping the 15-foot-wide moat. Authorities are asking for any witnesses of the escape to report what they saw, since the zoo has no video surveillance.

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.

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.

Shopping Downtown

sf center

Random observations…

EPA suggests coal for California stockings

Stephen Johnson, the Bush ally who is his head of the EPA, like his Commander in Chief, is apparently no fan of science or California. The boys like playing Santa though, and the EPA holiday gift to the nation’s most populous state is a denial of a waiver allowing California (and some 16 other states that have asked ) to implement their own greenhouse gas limits. The precedence for California to set it’s own environmental policies goes back 30 years, and the state has been granted waivers over 40 times previously, and never been denied. Until now.
EPA Gives Finger To California
Automakers must have jumped with joy at the denial, having sued to prevent state’s from taking action some 4 times. Earlier this year, after years of dodging responsibility, the EPA was told by a Supreme Court ruling, that despite the agency’s insistence otherwise, they actually do have a mandate to regulate greenhouse gasses.

Maybe they misplaced that memo, or perhaps they are too busy reclassifying wetlands as potential parking lots.

When U.S. District Judge Anthony Ishii of Fresno ruled in early December that California has the right to regulate tail pipe emissions of greenhouse gases, it further set in play a potential legal battle of California vs the EPA. Even Republican guv Schwarzenegger sees light through the cigar smoke tunnel and has backed the idea of suing the US government to get some more sensible regulations in place.

Word filters out that the EPA’s own staffers advised Johnson against his auto industry friendly position, yet Johnson, his pal Big Dick Cheney and Detroit bigwigs really call the shots. Now, Bay Area politician Barbara Boxer & So Cal’s Henry Waxman are whining for hearings and have demanded Johnson not destroy any of his documents regarding the decision in his year end house cleaning.

links, fumes and more hot gassy air after the jump…

TCHO Beta in full swing
SFs’ newest and possibly most *genuine* chocolatier is in Beta. I say genuine because they are truly making their own chocolates, not re-melting as noted on their website. We were lucky enough to have made their nice list, getting our first (hopefully of many) samples today.

This batch is named C. Ghana 0.16B, noted, Chocolatey, and indeed it is. Of note, TCHO is seemingly steeped in local business color, including the likes of Louis Rosetto and Timothy Childs.

The last reading of the year

Adam Johnson (Emporium), Stephanie Harrell (Girl Reporter), Robin Coste Lewis and Nick Denney read Thursday night at Inside Story Time — which has moved from the Rickshow Stop to Delirium on 16th near Guerrero. (Kim Addonizio was supposed to read as well, but has cancelled.) The theme tonight is “Sacrifice.” $3-$10 sliding scale.

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