I’ve been following this story since it happened, and haven’t posted anything on it so I thought I would share today’s news on it. Today, a lawyer for the two brothers, who survived the tiger attack, has announced that authorities at the zoo ignored the brothers’ cries for help when they went to a cafe and tried to get inside. Furthermore, a security guard also ignored their pleas for assistance. A 911 call on the incident states that the zoo officials believed that the brothers were deranged, in spite of the fact that one of them was obviously bleeding.
I’m not here to say who did what in this case. Clearly zoo officials could have been a little more responsive and should have taken the attack seriously, regardless of whether they thought someone was deranged or not. I don’t know if these boys taunted the tiger, they may have done so. Some local experts on big cats have made comments about such things in our local news, stating that tigers don’t attack without provocation. They may well be right, I’m no expert.
What I do know, is that deranged or not, the kid was bleeding and needed medical attention. That’s enough for me to call 911 and grab a tranquilizer gun and say, “Okay, tell me where your friend is. You stay here and wait for the ambulance to arrive.” and that’s what should have happened at the zoo. Also, the lack of security cameras in the tiger and lion cages at the zoo just astounds me. Not only would those cameras be able to tell us the true story about whether this tiger was taunted or not, but it would also protect these animals from raucous visitors who have no respect for the fact that these are living, breathing creatures that will defend themselves if they are threatened.
One more thing that concerns me, is that fire crews were turned away at the gates when they responded to the 911 call. I would like an explanation as to why that policy includes 911 emergency response teams. If the emergency response team shows up at the zoo, you would think that they would have a good reason for being there. Just a thought.
I do believe that, given what I’ve read, these brothers have a case against the zoo for negligence. This would not be the first time that such a case has been brought against the SF Zoo. The zoo’s first priority should be caring for the animals, but their second priority should be the safety of the visitors and it seems that in both of these circumstances, this zoo failed.
They lost a tiger, and a young man died. If that isn’t negligence, I don’t know what is.