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Friday, January 04, 2008
The Media Circus At The Zoo...
...So here is what we know: On Christmas Day at the San Francisco Zoo, a 17-year-old boy was killed, and a pair of brothers (ages 19 and 23) were injured and a tiger was shot because it had escaped from it's enclosure and clearly was the reason there was blood on the ground. We also know that the fencing at the SF Zoo is 4 feet shorter than national regulations require, but they've passed inspection with that for years. Oh, and the surviving boys have secured Mark Geragos as their legal counsel.

What we don't know - how the tiger got out, whether or not the boys taunted the tiger and whether or not alcohol was involved (reportedly an empty vodka bottle was found in the brothers' car).

The fact that the brothers have gotten such notable legal counsel makes me wonder what they're trying to hide. After all, the last high profile case that Geragos had was the Laci Peterson murder trial and we all know how *that* ended (Scott Peterson is sitting on death row). It definitely makes me raise an eyebrow, and while I'd like to think innocent until proven guilty there are things here that make me wonder.

A tiger, who did bite a trainer a couple of years ago but never showed any other aggression towards humans, managed to get across a 33 foot dry moat and get over a 12 1/2 foot high ledge with an additional 4 foot fence to get at these boys. Police are looking into a footprint found on the outer railing of said fence.

I've been to that tiger exhibit and while I know the prowess of tigers is quite impressive, I have a hard time believing that a tiger that was born in captivity managed to get across that moat and over that fence by itself. There are some who are saying that Tatiana, the tiger in question, could easily have stood on her ack feet and stretched out to her full length and "hopped" up onto the ledge before jumping over the last fence, but there are no witnesses to that. The only alleged witnesses are the boys who survived and another woman who said that the boys were roaring at the tiger before she moved her family away from that area because she didn't like the way they were behaving. I don't like the way those boys are behaving either considering they're reluctant to talk to the police and don't want to talk to the family of the boy who died.

That just screams suspect to me, but we need to give them the benefit of the doubt, right? After all, even with the zoo closing there were still people around and the boys headed for a nearby cafe where they knew other people would be. And yet, with the tiger loose the only people that were threatened or hurt were these two boys. Everyone else, however many or few that were around, was ignored by the tiger. It just makes you wonder.

I know the zoo will have some fault found with it because of the walls that were grandfathered in under old standards because of when it was built. I'm sure the family of the boys who survived will sue the zoo and the city as a result and probably get some money out of it. What I hope happens is that someone comes clean and tells the story of what really happened that day when two brothers and their best friend went to the zoo and someone died at the paws and claws of a once magnificent beast. Sadly, I don't think that that is going to happen.

But something, in my opinion, definitely happened there and I wouldn't be surprised if those young men contributed to the events of that day. It's truly tragic, because no one had to die...

...especially on Christmas Day.