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## Physicist Calculates Trajectory of Tiger At SF Zoo713

KentuckyFC writes "Is it really possible for a 350-pound tiger to leap a 12.5-foot barrier from 33 feet away? (Said another way: a 159-kg tiger, a 3.8 m barrier, and 10 m away.) A physicist at Northeastern University has done the math, a straightforward problem in ballistics, and the answer turns out to be yes (abstract on the physics arXiv). But I guess we already knew that following the death of Carlos Souza at the paws of Tatiana, a Siberian Tiger he had allegedly been taunting at San Francisco zoo at the end of last year."
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## Physicist Calculates Trajectory of Tiger At SF Zoo

• #### The zoo should know stuff like this. (Score:1, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2008 @10:49AM (#22260776)
After all, it's exactly the type of thing you should think about about when you design enclosures for dangerous animals. My family all seem to think that because this guy was taunting the tiger, the zoo is relieved of its liability. I think that's ridiculous--even if he was being stupid, you go to the zoo with a reasonable expectation that the animals can't get at you, and that means thinking hard about how high they can jump, not just building the wall up until you guess there's no way a tiger's jumping out of there.
• #### Call in the lawyers (Score:5, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @10:53AM (#22260850)
Well, I guess this is enough for the lawsuits to start flying at the zoo. Surely there are enough lawyers out there that will take the case. "Your honor, the zoo was clearly negligent in designing a tiger cage that a tiger could jump out of. The fact that the victim was allegedly taunting the tiger does not factor into the fact that the tiger was able to escape due to the mistake of the zoo building the environment."
• #### Which begs the question... (Score:4, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @10:56AM (#22260874)
Which begs the question; What kind of methods are used to determine the 'standards' for an inclosure?
• #### Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (Score:5, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @10:57AM (#22260898)
The repeated mentioning of this guy taunting the animal irritates me, because it seems to imply it was his fault.

Yeah, climbing over the fence to deliberately provoke a large predator and whatnot... totally the zoo's fault.
• #### the tiger had superior knowledge of the situation (Score:5, Insightful)

<John_Sauter@systemeyescomputerstore.com> on Friday February 01, 2008 @10:58AM (#22260914) Homepage

The repeated mentioning of this guy taunting the animal irritates me, because it seems to imply it was his fault.

Sure, if I saw a guy taunting animals at the zoo I'd think he was a complete jerk. If it was really out of hand, I'd call security to arrest the guy.

But it's not something he deserved to die for.

The tiger, obviously, disagreed with you. I submit that the tiger had better knowledge of the extent and degree of taunting that you do.

• #### Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (Score:5, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2008 @10:59AM (#22260916)

The repeated mentioning of this guy taunting the animal irritates me, because it seems to imply it was his fault.

Sure, if I saw a guy taunting animals at the zoo I'd think he was a complete jerk. If it was really out of hand, I'd call security to arrest the guy.

But it's not something he deserved to die for.

It isn't as if this is a judicial sentence of death. What he deserved is irrelevant. You use that term when you are talking about justice not when you are talking about accidents with wildlife.

It is a good habit not to blame the victim of a crime. But no real crime occurred here. He was just the victim of an accident that he caused. This should be repeated in every story discussing this event as a warning to any other stupid individual who thinks taunting tigers is harmless.
• #### Possibilities vs explanations (Score:5, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:00AM (#22260932) Homepage

"Is it really possible for a 350-pound tiger to leap a 12.5-foot barrier from 33 feet away? ... But I guess we already knew that following the death of Carlos Souza at the paws of Tatiana, a Siberian Tiger he had allegedly been taunting at San Francisco zoo at the end of last year."

If we already know the answer, then the question really is, can we explain how a 350-pound tiger to leap a 12.5-foot barrier from 33 feet away, or do we need to do some more research?

• #### Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (Score:2, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:00AM (#22260938)
I've been to the zoo dozens of times and have never been mauled by any animals. I'm not saying he deserved to die, but maybe he should have stuck to taunting the turtles.
• #### Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (Score:5, Insightful)

<foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:03AM (#22261004) Homepage

But it's a mitigating factor. The tiger didn't attack some random person, this guy was doing something to provoke the attack. That puts the attack in a different category. Both categories are bad in this case, but they are still different.

A well designed enclosure would have prevented this. The zoo is at fault. There is no question there.

However, the guy wasn't innocent. The tiger may not have attacked if he was behaving differently. There is a risk when you tease a 350lb killing machine. I see the fact he was doing that as important.

Your point is a bit like "sure he was kicking the dog, but that doesn't make it OK that the dog mauled him". Just because the result (mauling) was worse than the crime (kicking the dog) doesn't mean the crime is irrelevant.

Now teasing a tiger is not as bad as kicking a dog... the tiger isn't actually injured. The point is that the guy is not without blame.

If I had kids, I'd rather they heard this story with that fact, and would get the chance to learn the lesson "don't taunt things that can easily kill you, even if you think you're safe" than either never learn that lesson or learn it the hard way.

• #### Lateral velocity != jumping velocity (Score:5, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:04AM (#22261030) Homepage
From TFA:

From our calculations it was shown that a tiger only needs a little over 26 mi/hr to cross the 33 ft moat and clear the 12.5 ft high wall. From the current data that is available, a tiger can attain a maximum speed of 35 mi/hr.

35 mi/hr across the ground != 26 mi/hr at a 55 deg angle. I'd like to see how they propose converted that lateral velocity to the highly inclined one.

This is high school physics done badly. Very poor analysis.

• #### Re:Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:05AM (#22261054) Homepage

The people who "designed the enclosure"? It was (IIRC) a WPA project from the 1930's. It wasn't designed, it was built.

The crazy part was that the people who ran the zoo had no idea of its height, or lack thereof. And when inspectors came through the zoo a couple of years ago, nobody mentioned to the zoo that the height was below standard. In other words, it's not a design problem (the height was fine when it was built, back when nobody was stupid enough to taunt tigers like that), it's a maintenance problem, as in keeping up to standards, or even knowing that you aren't.

• #### Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (Score:2, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:06AM (#22261074) Homepage
I agree. Being a jerk for a few minutes to a tiger doesn't mean you should die.

I don't think it's mostly about "jerks deserve to die" though. I think most of the reason people like to keep repeating it is it gives them a comforting thought that the world is under their control, and safe. We're safe from tigers as long as WE don't taunt them. This guy was the cause of the problem, so there's no real need to worry about tigers escaping from cages (ignoring the other two people who were mauled of course).

Of course, the cage wasn't tall enough, and the Zoo is obviously responsible for this mans death. I'll ignore the whole argument if we should have Zoos for Tigers in the first place.

• #### Re:The sickest part about the tiger attack... (Score:4, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:10AM (#22261120)
No. the sickest part was putting the tiger down because a human was stupid beyond belief and a zoo didn't build an enclosure to protect the public AND the tiger from stupid humans. The tiger deserved the tribute because it died because it behaved to its expected nature. The human was mauled because he was STUPID and the zoo was irresponsible.

You can blame the zoo and blame the human, but the the tiger was innocent - the tiger was the victim here. Do not loose sight of this fact.
• #### Re:the tiger had superior knowledge of the situati (Score:5, Insightful)

<info@nOsPAM.devinmoore.com> on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:10AM (#22261122) Homepage Journal
Also, taunting a tiger is a lot different than taunting a shrew, a turtle, or any other animal at the zoo. Those other ones don't have a reputation as man-eaters. Who's to say that a tiger couldn't get out of pretty much any enclosure, given that it felt pissed off enough? the 12-footx30-foot distance is supposed to remind you that this cat means business.

Taunting a tiger is a bit like running down the street screaming the N word in Harlem: there are much, much safer ways to be a jackass.
• #### Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (Score:3, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:10AM (#22261134) Homepage Journal
I've been to the zoo dozens of times and have never been mauled by any animals.

You are not going to the right zoos then.....
• #### Re:There's more going on here (Score:3, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:14AM (#22261196)
I think the point is that a trivial, back-of-the-envelope calculation would've told them that an idealised tiger could've jumped the fence. If you build a fence which can hold an idealised tiger, it's more than enough for the real thing. I'm sure our engineers, physicists and chemists will agree that a bit of head-scratching and guesstimation is advisable before you do something that could blow up in your face.
• #### Re:A lot (Score:3, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:15AM (#22261206) Journal
What if a child with a limp walks by the tiger enclosure? Or someone with a bandaged wound? Or a stray dog gets into the zoo and barks at the tiger?

It seems clear to me that you build a tiger exhibit in a way that doesn't require the tiger's continued good will to keep it inside.

• #### Re:Darwin award contender? (Score:5, Insightful)

<tmh@nodomain.org> on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:18AM (#22261242) Homepage

Being a jerk for a few minutes to a tiger doesn't mean you should die.
But it does mean that if you do die, it's your own stupid fault.
QFT.

Nobody is saying he deserved to die. If you take risks with your life and the risk doesn't pay off.. well tough.
• #### Re:A lot (Score:5, Insightful)

<info@nOsPAM.devinmoore.com> on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:27AM (#22261408) Homepage Journal
I've been to tens of zoos hundreds of times, as I'm sure many of us have, and I always look at the tigers. They are almost always sleeping, or maybe moving to where the food is, eating it, and then sleeping. Once I saw one playing with a ball or a tree trunk and looking excited... and then it got its food that it was waiting for, ate it, and layed down to sleep again. In all of these situations the tigers seemed to care less that there people present, including typical zoo noise like kids "roaring" at the tigers. I shudder to think the amount of contact/irritation/etc. that would be necessary to have the following happen:
1) distract the cat from sleeping,
2) make it get up,
3) make it target you,
4) make it risk its own safety to jump out of its "den" to attack you,
5) make it actually attack, and
6) make it track you hundreds of feet past many other potential targets, now that it's free.
• #### Re:A lot (Score:2, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:28AM (#22261424)

The only tragedy here was the tiger having to be killed.

I disagree. Most of us go through phases of being quite evil and pathetic, and also of being selfless and kind. Most of us are sometimes wretched, sometimes wonderful, and mostly in-between. As a parent, I have a deeper love for my kids than I ever would have expected prior to being a parent. I know they will be sometimes evil; one of my jobs is to minimize that. But I think it would be a tragic, albeit a just one, for most persons to die in this manner.

• #### Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (Score:5, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:30AM (#22261450) Journal
he repeated mentioning of this guy taunting the animal irritates me, because it seems to imply it was his fault.

Let's see. On an average day at the zoo, there are several thousand people who visit this enclosure. During all the years this enclosure has been around and has had a tiger of some sort in it, not one person has ever been attacked, let alone killed.

Then one day, after drinking and some drug use, [cnn.com] these asshats decide to stand on a fence around the enclosure, yell and taunt at a wild animal which is known to be able kill humans, possibly shoot it with a slingshot, and yet somehow, despite the actions of supposedly the smartest animal on the planet, it's not the guy's fault he got himself killed?

But it's not something he deserved to die for.

It's called being responsible for your actions. Put another way, survival of the fittest in all its glory.

• #### Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (Score:3, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:33AM (#22261494)

I believe the thing that bothers most people, why they seem to imply that the guy got what was coming to him, is that the animal was behind bars and the guys were torturing it verbally and possibly with a slingshot [begin slingshot debate now]. Would the guy have done the same thing to a large breed dog he saw walking down the street? Probably not. But some vodka and an animal enclosure turns the guys into George of the Jungle.

When push comes to shove do most people think the guy really deserved death? No. But we're far enough removed from it to think about it like something we'd watch on TV instead of something that might happen to someone we know.

Strange side note:

The following is from a major news outlet regarding what the police did when they arrived on the scene only to find the tiger loose:

They then "yelled at the animal to stop. They did not fire immediately. ... when the yelling was occurring the animal turned toward the officers" and that's when the officers shot the tiger, she said.

Nice work. I understand it's not something you deal with at the academy, but do you really think yelling "Stop" is going to have a major impact on the behavior of the tiger?

• #### What about the tiger? (Score:2, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:34AM (#22261504)
All she wanted was peace and quiet for her all-day nap. Did she deserve to die for that?
• #### Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (Score:1, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:39AM (#22261576)
You're mixing emotion and fact here. No one "deserves" to die, that's an emotional stance. Taunting a tiger, an animal locked in a tiny cage for all its life, results in death. That is a fact. Leave the tigers alone, better yet, leave them in their natural habitat, and let nature sort out who should die when taunting an animal with 1)denser and stronger muscle fiber, 2)is larger than you.
Drunk kids should die more often, IMO. Either from tigers or BMW M5s. Keeps the gene pool cleaner.
• #### Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (Score:3, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:44AM (#22261666)
A well designed enclosure would have prevented this. The zoo is at fault. There is no question there.

What kind of enclosure would you actually need to keep an enranged and adrenaline fueled tiger in though.

However, the guy wasn't innocent. The tiger may not have attacked if he was behaving differently. There is a risk when you tease a 350lb killing machine. I see the fact he was doing that as important.

The way all mammals respond to threats is known as "flight or flight". Predators are likely to tend towards the former. There are few things an adult tiger will run from.
• #### Who cares!? (Score:5, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:45AM (#22261682)
I contend that the enclosure was just fine. The tiger was content until he was taunted. This story had less to do with "how to contain a tiger" than "don't taunt the potentially man-eating tiger!" Note, he only went after those who taunted him! I'm not saying it was justified, but given that the tiger could hardly go to the authorities and his predisposition to violence he did what a tiger does back home.

• #### Re:A lot (Score:4, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:47AM (#22261718)
The original post couldn't be more correct. "The only tragedy here was the tiger having to be killed."

Let the tiger kill 1 person, 100 people, 1000 people, it is a fucking TIGER people, not a bunny rabbit, it was born to do one thing only, KILL! DO NOT expect it to do anything else if its free, and sure as fuck don't kill it for doing so, tranquilize it for crying out loud. Any tiger left on the face of the planet is worth 1,000,000 times more than any human, they are endangered, WE ARE NOT.
• #### Re:The SF Zoo? Hah! (Score:5, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:00PM (#22261916) Homepage
This is an example of the tragedy of privatization.

How so? The fence is the same height today it was when it was a public zoo. The zoo was public when the fence was built. Seems a better case can be made that public zoos don't know how to design safe tiger enclosures.
• #### Re:Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:03PM (#22261960) Homepage
"The tiger didn't go crazy, that tiger went tiger!" --Chris Rock
• #### Re:the tiger had superior knowledge of the situati (Score:5, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:06PM (#22262006) Homepage
More tigers = fewer jackasses.
I don't see the problem.
• #### Re:Call in the lawyers (Score:1, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:18PM (#22262186)
Consider this:

A Rottweiler, a tall fence, and an 8 year old child.
Child taunts Rottweiler, and pokes it with a stick through the fence.
Enraged Rottweiler manages to scramble over fence and mauls child. Who's at fault?
Change child to 17 year old. Different?
Get him drunk. Different?

• #### Re:Hmm (Score:2, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:24PM (#22262288)
To a certain extent it's true. Tigers and other big cats don't naturally consider human beings prey and will generally avoid them in the wild, but if they happen to discover how easy we are to kill, there's a marked amount of recidivism.
• #### Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (Score:5, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:25PM (#22262310) Journal
I dunno, if you stick your tongue in an electrical outlet, you deserve to get shocked. If you walk across a highway blindfolded, you deserve to get hit. If you taunt a tiger, you deserve to get mauled. If he didn't want to get mauled to death, he could have easily left the tiger alone.
• #### Re:Hmm (Score:2, Insightful)

<{joeljkparker} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:27PM (#22262334)

the height was fine when it was built, back when nobody was stupid enough to taunt tigers like that
I'm guessing it's more of an issue of a developing awareness of safety.

Oh, and the fact that there was a giant depression going on and nobody gave a shit about some moron taunting a tiger.

• #### Re:Who cares!? (Score:2, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:31PM (#22262406)
Would you contend that the enclosure was just fine if an innocent bystander was killed? Sure, in this case that didn't happen, but you can't speak as though you know a tiger will only attack his provokers.
• #### Re:Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:42PM (#22262586)

Actually, the guy 400 yards away with the high-powered rifle has the advantage. As was verified in this case.

• #### Re:Hmm (Score:3, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:46PM (#22262652) Homepage
Quite tragic, as tigers are nearly extinct in the wild. Why does the myth of animals thirsting for human blood after killing a person continue to persist?

Because in the case of tigers, it is a very real danger? At least, a tiger who eats a human (whether the tiger killed the human or simply ran across a body) is liable to start to see humans as food, and a tiger will hunt and kill anything it sees as food.

This tiger didn't actually eat anyone... but it wasn't killed due to the fear of it being a future man-eater, it was killed because it was in the process of mauling two people after having killed one already, and when the police distracted it the tiger ran at them. Ideally they could have used tranquilizers, but this wasn't a planned recovery mission, it was an emergency response. It's hard for me to fault the police for doing their job of protecting people and themselves with the tools they had on hand when they showed up.

I agree though that this is exceedingly tragic. It's a disaster as far as I'm concerned. And the fools who mis-constructed (and mis-certified) the enclosure, and the retards who lacked the common sense to not taunt a large predator, directly contributed. Is there any hope for these animals in the face of simple, common, everyday human stupidity?
• #### Re:Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:50PM (#22262732)
This is unfortunately true. An animal that has actually overcome its instincts of avoidance (often due to unfortunate necessity) and killed a human becomes much more likely to do it again. There are no animals that, in the wild, are naturally mankillers, but there have been many documented instances of certain individuals becoming mankillers. Whatever the circumstances were and how unfair they were that provoked the first attack, once an individual animal has killed a man successfully, it becomes much more likely to do it again and again. Sadly, it's usually some stupid man who's turned the animal into a mankiller, but the fact remains that the animal now is a mankiller, and needs to be dealt with accordingly. I don't mourn for the idiot who provokes and gets killed in the first place, but one must deal realistically with the animal to prevent future innocent victims.
• #### Maybe you (Score:4, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:52PM (#22262768) Homepage
Maybe you had the urge to taunt dangerous animals but I never did. If you feel like killing something then go hunting. I nominate the guy who died for a Darwin Award. Its a tiger, anything smaller and less powerful than it is food.
• #### Parent +5 Informative (Score:2, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:54PM (#22262802)
If you look at the link the parent posted ( http://www.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2008/01/03/mn_grotto.jpg [sfgate.com] ) you can clearly see that the situation shown in the picture is vastly different from what the calculations looked at. Based on what is shown in the picture this was essentially a running long jump for the tiger. There was virtually no elevation involved, especially when you consider that she could easily pull herself up over the top if she was a couple of feet short. That diagram is very enlightening.
• #### Not a valid public/private test case (Score:3, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @01:01PM (#22262918) Homepage Journal
Well, we are in the realm of a the speculative here, since we are talking about things that might have happened if things were contrary to how they actually are.

However the current management of the zoo has everything to do with the height of the wall, even though the wall was built before the management took charge, because the wall was built before safety standards were established.

If the safety standards were established after the current management took charge, the older management was to blame; if it took place after the current management took charge, then both the current management and the old management are to blame, because the incoming management should have checked everything before taking over. One way or the other, the current management is "at fault" here. The old management might not have been at fault, if it were not known that tigers could clear such a wall at the time.

In any case, this is not really a valid test case for privatization, because the zoo is run as a partnership between the SF Parks department and the non-profit SF Zoological Society. It is the difference between non-profit and for-profit here that is critical, not the difference between government and private.

A well run non-profit should make the decision to evaluate the safety of its exhibits and address any problems in exactly the same way a well run government institution would. Either should determine whether the exhibits meet standards of safety and either correct any deficiencies, or close the exhibit. A well run for-profit would look at the decision in a risk/benefit context.

In fact, a well run for-profit takes these uncertainties and makes them quantifiable by buying insurance. If the insurance company misses the problem with the tiger enclosure, that's all to the good: the company gets a windfall savings. If the insurance company catches the problem, then you've got a simple NPV calculation between the investment and the premium differential. Either way, you plug the numbers into a spreadsheet, and if the spreadsheet says you go on with an unsafe exhibit, you do.

So, net net net, as they say, you can't conclude anything about the difference between private and public management by this event. You can conclude something about this management, which is that in this case at least it didn't do its job. If this were a private, for profit company they might well have been managing "properly", by concluding the wall was "probably" safe, and the cost of fixing the situation was higher than the probable benefit.
• #### Re:Never mind the physics (Score:2, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2008 @01:18PM (#22263216)
Except you have to take the Taunting-Factor into account.

If the tiger jumped the fence specifically to get to you it doesn't matter if you're near an olympic sprinter or somebody in a wheelchair pulling a baby carriage full of bricks. That tiger will be coming after you.

Perhaps that's why initial estimates were off. Did anybody take into account that a tiger doesn't try to jump that fence if the guy doens't annoy it? There have been tigers in that cage for how long before this happened? Reminds of how after the 35W bridge collapse the big story nationwide (and here in Minnesota long after) was how suddenly every friggin' bridge in the country was a ticking timebomb of death and destruction.

I've been to zoos where the monkey cages are designed in such a way that trees hang down over where people walk. However I've never seen or heard of a monkey at the zoo trying to escape via that tree. However I would guess that if I start egging on said monkey, or find some other reason to grab it's attention...it may suddenly become very interested in that overhanging branch.
• #### Re:Darwin award contender? (Score:5, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @01:26PM (#22263330) Homepage Journal

Nobody is saying he deserved to die. If you take risks with your life and the risk doesn't pay off.. well tough.
Actually, A LOT of people are saying that. (Go visit Fark threads on the subject.)

And, they're right.

Here's a list of other stuff (in case you weren't following all the articles) they did just that day;

- waited for the Zoo to empty out (premeditated)
- collected tools to do the task (slingshot, and something else (i forgot)
- drove drunk (open container of vodka in the car) to the zoo
- stayed around after zoo was closed (trespassing)
- climbed over a barrier designed to protect animals from humans
- lied to police about what happened
- clamed up, lawyered up right away

Those asshats deserved to die just from the drunk driving alone. Acting in such a way that causes an endangered animal to be killed brutally by police, while two of them (India-Indians) should know damn well what tigers can do, yeah, that pretty much adds up to NO sympathy.

These asshats deserved to die. Just like those asshats that drove off the end of the Travolta's runway deserved to die. The human race is better off without them.

This is not just kids fooling around tying cans to the neighbor's dogs tail. It's real, bona fide criminal activity and animal abuse.
• #### Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (Score:3, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @01:33PM (#22263474)
"Evolution in action."

-- the citizens of Todos Santos
• #### Re:A lot (Score:2, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @02:08PM (#22264036)
it's tragic if it's my kid. it's justice if it's someone else's.

not to say your viewpoint isn't valid, just that i see it different.
• #### Re:A lot (Score:2, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @02:20PM (#22264246)

Most of us go through phases of being quite evil and pathetic
Very true. Don't forget these guys were teenage boys as most slashdotters once were. I don't have enough fingers to count the number of dumb things I did as a kid. It's a wonder any of us live through our teenage years. Although I agree these guys were dumbasses, cut them some slack. Did you ever drag race as a kid? Play with explosives or other weapons? Drink way too much? Drugs? Everyone has done phenomenally stupid things at one time or another.
• #### Re:Hmm (Score:2, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @02:21PM (#22264264)
That person had been taunting the tiger; the tiger wasn't just going after people randomly, it targeted specific people for a reason.

The cop should have let the tiger just do what it wanted, until they could find a tranquilizer gun so they could get it back to the cage. As the other guy said, there's 6.5 billion people on the planet, and very few tigers. Tigers are endangered animals. People in a zoo should realize that wild animals are dangerous, and if they get out, it's them versus the animal. Humans shouldn't get any special rights against the animals when they knowingly put themselves in that situation.

• #### Re:Hmm (Score:1, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @02:28PM (#22264384)
I'm sorry, I disagree. If an animal in a zoo (or anywhere else for that matter) becomes a mankiller, that's a human's fault, not the animal's. The animal shouldn't die because of some asshole human. If it kills other people, that's just too bad; they're 6.5 billion of us. We can afford to lose a few.

The way to deal with this is through the legal system. Let the animal do what it will, but figure out who caused the animal to become a mankiller unnaturally. Make that person responsible, even if they're dead. Any more deaths can be blamed on that person, and he has to pay wrongful death settlements, or if he was killed by the animal, his family has to pay.

Besides, let's be realistic here. This animal is in a zoo. Animals in zoos are supposed to be locked up so they can't physically escape and get to humans. If an animal is a mankiller, just put it back in its cage!!! and don't let it get out! How hard is that? Apparently, too hard for the SF Zoo which is too stupid to build a wall tall enough for a tiger, but again that needs to be dealt with, harshly, through the legal system by making those responsible pay for the damage, including the zoo director who apparently holds much of the blame.
• #### Re:Very Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @02:37PM (#22264530) Homepage
Am I the only one who finds it fascinating that the ONLY ones the tiger directly attacked were the 3 guys who were taunting it? That it specifically hunted down the 3 individuals who pissed it off? And they had moved away from the area...

Nope, I find that very interesting too. It pretty much proves to me that this was their own stupid fault. This was not some random man-killing tiger who escaped on a whim and hunted a human. This thing was pissed, it was out for revenge, and there's no way it was going to those lengths just because it was mildly annoyed. Out of all the visitors to ever walk past the cage, these were the only ones to taunt it in any way? Not bloody likely. They must have gone above and beyond the call of stupid duty to provoke this attack.
• #### Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (Score:2, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @02:50PM (#22264738)
Its not about the Zoo's fault, its about the guy not deserving to die. Maybe experience something he could recover from, but die?

Yes, DIE. If you are stupid enough to taunt a large tiger, you deserve to die. It's that simple. Every other animal on earth is supposedly not as smart as a human, but they're all smart enough not to taunt large predators, because as small as their brains are, they know that it's a bad idea. So when a human does this, you think they deserve to live? Sorry, no. People that stupid have no business sharing space with the rest of us, or worse, reproducing and making similarly stupid kids. That level of stupidity is simply inexcusable.
• #### Re:Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @02:52PM (#22264764)
Actually, in this case it was SF police officers with .40 sidearms. I imagine that they were able to win only because there were so many rounds expended, as handgun rounds are hardly adequate for this sort of animal.

In any case, most folks believe that human life is more important than animal life, so when a police officer arrives to find a "rare" tiger mauling a "common" human, you can't be surprised when he opts to kill kill the freaking cat. The suggestion that the lives of a few humans should be willfully sacrificed to preserve the life of an animal flies against our built-in desire to preserve our race, so don't expect to be popular when you make it.
• #### Re:Hmm (Score:4, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:18PM (#22265182) Homepage
But now the tiger is out of his cage, and the guy standing beside the idiot who was taunting the tiger is also in danger, along with probably a lot of other people who just happened to be at the zoo that day. What about all those people?
• #### Re:Hmm (Score:1, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:01PM (#22265746)

That person had been taunting the tiger; the tiger wasn't just going after people randomly, it targeted specific people for a reason. The cop should have let the tiger just do what it wanted, until they could find a tranquilizer gun so they could get it back to the cage.
The tiger had already mauled two others after killing one and was probably about to kill the others. Do you think after that it would have just sat down and licked itself or played with a ball of string while someone went and found a tranquilizer gun with the right dosage, shot it, and then waited patiently for a few minutes while the tranquilizer kicked in? Some reports [nytimes.com] state that the one guy who was killed was actually one that group that DIDN'T taunt the animal.

As the other guy said, there's 6.5 billion people on the planet, and very few tigers. Tigers are endangered animals. People in a zoo should realize that wild animals are dangerous, and if they get out, it's them versus the animal. Humans shouldn't get any special rights against the animals when they knowingly put themselves in that situation.
Perhaps you would have been happy to repeat your view to this kid's grieving family? Perhaps you would have felt the same way if it was your child?

Don't tell me you, at 17, (or one of your friends) never did something silly without thinking it through. These guys could have been decent people besides this one bit of silliness (for that is all it was - they had not murdered anyone and thus it could be said they deserved to die). As for stupidity, I doubt they would have believed that the tiger would be able, or even sufficiently bothered enough, to jump over the fence and kill them.

Again people do stupid things every day, especially teenagers, it doesn't mean they deserve to die.

I appreciate (from the sounds of it) you don't support zoos (nor do I for simple entertainment purposes) but that doesn't justify any of your statements which are, to be frank, moronic.
• #### Re:Very Interesting (Score:2, Insightful)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:57PM (#22266514)
I find it a little unlikely that it specifically hunted them down, unless it was within a few minutes and they hadn't walked too far away. If domestic cats are any indication, the tiger would be willing to take its aggression on anyone, especially if the original instigator was out of sight. It seems more likely that they were the last ones near the cage, and the first ones she came across after escaping the enclosure. However, if a different set of visitors had been closer, she probably would have taken the first available victim.
• #### Re:haha (Score:3, Insightful)

<mvdwege@mail.com> on Friday February 01, 2008 @07:27PM (#22268394) Homepage Journal

see, yelling and making yourself larger usually repels predators.

See, tigers are apex predators, very efficient killing machines at the top of the food chain. Tigers are also known to be very territorial. Now, standing and shouting in the full view of the tiger is dominance behaviour, especially if you're looking straight at it. What do you think the natural reaction of a tiger to an invasion of its territory by a creature showing dominant behaviour is going to be?

Note also that most stories of wild tigers attacking humans are in the context of human settlements encroaching upon tiger territory.

So yes, yelling and making yourself larger is taunting in the context of tiger behaviour.

Side note: when a Dutch woman taunted a gorilla and it went on a rampage, the animal was tranquilised and put back in its enclosure, even after mauling several unrelated bystanders. Somehow the shooting of Tatiana does not a lot to dispel the image of Americans as a bunch of trigger-happy rednecks.

Mart

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