Monday, November 10, 2008

Fatal tiger maulings

You may remember the fatal tiger attack that occurred on Christmas Day 2007. Carlos Sousa, age 17, was visiting the San Francisco Zoo with two friends. They may have been taunting the cat, or Sousa may have been dangling his leg over the railing, but something provoked the 300-pound Siberian tiger to jump the wall of the enclosure--which was found to be four feet lower than industry standards--and maul the teenager to death. A quick search reveals another attack:
  • In Feb. 2007, 6-year-old Rui Xin was killed by a tiger at a zoo in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China. She was allowed to pose with the animal for a photograph. Startled by the camera flash, it bit her on the head and crushed her skull.
To bring my recent posts about animals full circle, let me point out that tigers are near extinction, which means that the reaction to horrifying accidents like this should be renewed vigilance around captive animals, rather than mere objection to their captivity.

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