San Francisco Zoo re-opens tiger exhibit

February 21, 2008 3:47:27 PM PST
San Francisco Zoo visitors see big cats on exhibit for the first time Thursday, since a deadly Christmas Day attack.

The tigers now have a new home, and it's one that officials say is even safer than the one before.

They've added features to the exhibit to make it tougher for the big cats to get out. The animals have been getting used to the new exhibit since Monday.

They've been in indoor cages since the Christmas Day attack, when Tatiana, the female Siberian tiger, escaped from the exhibit and mauled three young men that were visiting the zoo. Police killed Tatiana, but not before she had killed Carlos Sousa, Jr.

At the time of the attack, the wall separating the visitors from the animals was shorter than the national safety recommendations. The wall is now 19 feet tall, two-and-a-half feet taller than is recommended.

They've also added electrical wires so if there's any attempt to escape, the animals will be shocked.

The tigers and the lions have adjusted well to their new surroundings. They've been checking them out since Monday and they seem to like them just fine. That's why officials decided it's okay to let the public come back and see them.

They've also decided to let everyone go ahead and watch the public feedings which are very popular at the animal lion house. That's going to start on Tuesday. The decision was made late Wednesday night.

Things are starting to return to normal at the San Francisco Zoo for all except for Tony, the male Siberian tiger, who lost his female companion, Tatiana. Officials are currently looking for a replacement for Tatiana so Tony can have some company.