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Tatiana and Tony expressing affection.

 

UPDATE, 10 Aug 2008: Thanks to National Geographic TV's Explorer for using this image in their "ZOO TIGER ESCAPE" episode. It aired tonight, 8/10/2008, and I thought they did a great job of recreating the story. It airs again on 8/17/2008. Here's the overview:

 

"Until December 25th 2007, no animal had ever escaped and killed a visitor at an accredited U.S. zoo. The first animal to achieve this dubious distinction was a tiger. A mild Christmas day in San Francisco has turned into a bloody tragedy the likes of which have never been seen before. Two young men were mauled, one 17-year-old boy and one 4-year-old Siberian tigress lay dead. Experts explore what might have happened in hopes of improving how dangerous animals are kept in captivity."

 

channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/explorer/3816/Overview

 

UPDATE: Tatiana, pictured here, is the Siberian tiger making the recent news headlines. The latest (27 Dec 2007) seems to indicate that the wall was too short:

 

Tiger grotto wall shorter than thought, may have contributed to escape and fatal attack

 

More...

S.F. Zoo's Tatiana acted her part as alpha predator, experts say

 

"Once the animal is out of its primary enclosure, it's pretty much shoot to kill," Tilson said. "You don't have a discussion - you kill it. A tranquilizer gun would take too long and you might miss."

 

The other Siberian pictured here is Tony:

 

"Tatiana was born in the Denver Zoo on June 27, 2003, and donated to San Francisco in December 2005 to mate with a male named Tony."

 

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Taken on April 21, 2007