I must’ve been enjoying my one-day Christmas vacation, because I completely missed the most amazing news story of, well, many of the past few years. Somehow a 350-pound female tiger escaped its holding pen at the San Francisco Zoo yesterday, immediately attacked and killed one man, then mauled two more before police shot and killed it. Latest update here at mercurynews.com
Why is this such a compelling story? Well, because the whole point of going to the zoo is that the tigers can’t kill you.
What makes it compelling for me is that nobody can explain how the tiger got out. The enclosure is designed so this should never happen, but the tiger evidently defied all expectations about it’s ability.
Seems like it has to be human error, unless for some reason it occurred to this cat to try to escape yesterday and it exploited a vulnerability that was there all along (even so, it’s back to human error).
“Why is this such a compelling story? Well, because the whole point of going to the zoo is that the tigers can’t kill you.”
And one of the reasons that I would rather see lions and tigers in the wild. It is more compelling when you know that they can kill you.
One of my favorite stories from my trip to Kenya was when my brother was trying to flush a lion off of a Thompsons gazelle kill. He wanted to get a picture of the lion with the gazelle. I am taking pictures as we circle this bit of tall grass that contains the lion and his kill. We keep driving around the patch of grass and the lion is moving from one side to the other while carrying the gazelle in its mouth. At one point, my brother says, “I can’t see the lion, if it charges, roll up your window”. I put down the camera and rolled up the window.