Bloody Christmas

(full story) A tiger escaped from the zoo today and attacked 3 people.  One person died, 2 others were injured.  I was on the channel when it happened and lord did the quiet evening take off. [1]Actually, it was the only excitement in the day.

I can’t say much more out of confidentiality rules however, it is still unknown how the tigers got loose.  I feel sorry for the victims but also the poor animal.  The officers had to shoot one and kill it after it attacked another person.  It was probably scared and just reacting to its natural instincts.  Frak, they are predatory animals after all. 

I love zoos but it gives me pause to wonder if caging wild animals is such a good idea.  Most zoos tend to hold animals in tight quarters.  And while they do make a very good effort of maintaining animals physical and mental health, it is not the same as being loose in the wild.  Animals like tigers need room to range and exercise their skills.  In this latest caper, I’m sure it had more to do with the animal being scared and threatened than anything else.  I’m guessing of course.  I can’t shake the feeling that we hold some responsibility though.  We take these animals, who were never meant to be tamed, and introduce them to an environment of confinement and denial of their basic instincts.

It is worth mentioning this particular tiger was the very same tiger from last year this time that attacked a trainer.  Some would say maybe the animal deserved it.  I’m not so sure. 


1 Actually, it was the only excitement in the day.

6 thoughts on “Bloody Christmas”

  1. I agree, Moby. If anything, the tiger was doing what he was supposed to do. Of course I’m not saying the victim deserved it either… it’s a very sad incident.

  2. I was upset when I heard on the news that the tiger was killed. It wasn’t her fault. They should have tranked her and moved her to a wildlife preserve, away from the public.

  3. The animal was beautiful – absolutely magnificent.

    I do not think they should be caged – unless for protection…but not for show. I went to the zoo for the first time in 15-20 yrs this summer and was completely bummed by the entire experience.

    But I think tranquilizing the animal was a better solution than killing it. You can’t capture and cage it and expect it to not react when they are put into yet another very unorthodox environment.

    Poor poor kitty.

  4. Blobby ~ very good point however, the zoo vet crews were not yet on-scene and the animal was attacking another person. The officers had no choice but to open fire on it.

  5. I love zoos and I hate zoos. On one hand, at least we are trying to maintain a species that might otherwise die out because of loss of habitat. But on the other hand, its much like a prison to those poor animals.

  6. I hope that this doesn’t give all zoos a bad name. As a former zoo keeper and a current primatologist who uses zoos for behavioral and conservation research, I can tell you that good zoos do a lot for the conservation of species. Good zoos educate the public about the reality of animal behavior and ecology (unlike TV and circuses). Also, zoos are engaged in captive breeding programs and research projects which can help boost numbers in the wild. (Just make sure the zoo you go to is “AZA accredited).

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