Tiger Attack Leaves One Dead, Two Injured

The San Francisco zoo remains closed today after police shot the Siberian tiger that escaped its enclosure.

Updated 12-27-07 at 2 p.m. EDT

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A Siberian tiger housed at the San Francisco Zoo escaped its enclosure just after the 5 p.m. closing time on Christmas Day, mauling a teenager to death and severely injuring two other men, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Zoo officials said they are unsure how Tatiana, the 4-year-old, 350-pound cat escaped the tiger grotto; however, the investigation is on-going.

Police officers arrived on-scene after receiving frantic calls from the zoo. Officers shot and killed the tiger as it was mauling one of the victims.

The deceased was identified as 17-year-old Carlos Sousa, Jr., of San Jose, Calif. The two injured men, 19- and 23-year-old brothers from San Jose, were in critical condition when they arrived at the hospital but have since been stabilized after undergoing multiple surgeries, which primarily consisted of cleaning and stitching the wounds and gashes, hospital officials told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Last December, the same tiger mauled a zookeeper’s arm as she conducted a public feeding demonstration. An investigation later determined the zoo was at fault for improper cage configuration.

The zoo remained closed Wednesday and Thursday out of respect for the victims.

Police found a shoe and blood near the tigers moat, and are investigating whether the tiger may have been taunted by one or more of the victims before the attack, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Click here to watch MSNBC's video coverage of the tiger attack, including the "Today Show's" Matt Lauer's interview with the victim's parents.

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Reader Comments

Laurie    Erie, PA

12/27/2007 3:11:02 PM

Ths is so sad. Inevitably people will want to blame the tiger, but the zoo should have had a more safe enclosure.

Angela    Hamburg, NY

12/27/2007 11:11:10 AM

This is so awful to hear. It is a shame that this beautiful creature hurt three people, this will only cause feaer in tigers to rise, when not all tigers would have reacted in this manner, it was just one that needed help. Why were the warning signs of when it attacked a trainer, ignored?

Rose    None, IA

12/27/2007 5:23:33 AM

Do you think it's strange that it happened on Christmas Day?

Cheryl    Conway, MO

12/26/2007 5:57:31 PM

How sad. One day we may remember that these are cats from the wild and we can't ever get them totally tame.

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