Thursday, January 3, 2008

S.F. Zoo to Reopen After Tiger Attack

According to an AP story, nine days after a tiger mauled three visitors, the San Francisco Zoo is set to reopen amid heightened scrutiny of its security procedures and a flurry of questions over the events that led to a teenager's death.

The big cat enclosure where a 350-pound Siberian tiger escaped on Christmas Day was to remain closed indefinitely, while visitors Thursday were to find a new public alert system and more signs around the facility warning people not to pester the animals.

The improvements were made as police investigated whether the victims had taunted the tiger before it climbed or leaped out of its outdoor pen. Carlos Sousa Jr., 17, was killed, and his two friends were severely injured.

Personally, I love going to the zoo. Seeing those exotic and unique animals is fun at any age. However, there have been times when I wondered if maybe there should be some more protection between me and the animals. I'm all for having "natural" habitats for the different species, but aren't a lot of those habitats too easily accessible for people?

And of course, people don't always follow the posted rules. How many times have you been to a zoo where it asked you not to throw anything in the cage and someone did anyway? How many aquariums ask you not to tap on the glass, but yet people do so anyway?

So, the combination of not following the rules along with animals that are too easily accessible, can lead to a disaster. Although I enjoy seeing an animal in a "natural" environment, I can't help but wonder if the person standing next to me is going to do something that might create a hostile environment for an animal. Or, worse yet, happen to just accidentally trip and fall into an area they don't want to be in.

As you can tell, my feelings are mixed on this issue. What do you feel about the natural environment? I look forward to your comments.


Kell said...

I think zoo's need to better protect the people visiting them.

jan said...

I've spent many happy days at the San Francisco zoo. Ideally the animals should never even notice the people. But there are certain people who should be put into cages so that the rest of us can enjoy ourselves. Zoos should not have to protect ignorant people.

kailani said...

I've seen too many times people not following zoo rules. The rules are there to protect them yet they take chances to get closer to the animals or get a better photograph. It's just not worth it.

An Island Life

Matt said...

I think the people in cages comment is a separate issue from the zoo :-)

Anonymous said...

It's too bad that certain people try to ruin it for others. And certain parents who don't control their kids.

Anonymous said...

can't people just follow the posted rules? Everyone would have such a better time.

Renee said...

I'm torn. While I really like to go see the animals and there are some that do need our help in order to still be living, I really hate to have animals in cages.
I like that a lot of zoos are trying to make the habitats more like what the animals have in the wild, but they can't make an enclosure that is big enough for the larger animals to have a taste of home.

And as for stupid people...don't even get me started. Sometimes natural selection works.

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Horacio Tiu said...

I wanted to visit it with my kids..
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