Friday, January 18, 2008

Tiger attack in San Francisco

Have any of you been following the tiger attack story in the San Francisco Zoo? Three boys were attacked by a tiger on Christmas Day at the zoo, and one of the boys died. This story has made me really sad. Especially now that police are saying the tiger was taunted. It makes me sad that a tiger lost her life because of some people who don't understand the gravity of being around wild animals.

When we lived in Peru, we occasionally visited the zoo there. It was nothing like the zoos in the United States. The animals were all in cement cages, and there weren't as many restrictions between the animals and people. Two cages stick out in my mind: the lion cage, which was completely cement with a couple of big rocks. The other cage was one of the most popular exhibits, the chimpanzee cage. It had grass at least, but people loved to throw things into the cage and laugh when the chimps interacted. It was sad how much trash was thrown into the cage. Soft drink cups, beer bottles, cigarettes... If the monkey picked it up and started drinking/smoking, then everyone laughed and more drinks/cigarettes were thrown in. It breaks my heart when I think about it.

I am sad when people are not taught to respect animals. I am sad when boys (usually, though girls do this too) think it's fun to taunt, tease, or otherwise harm an animal. It's especially sad when people are not taught to respect big animals. I've never been to the San Francisco Zoo, so perhaps it's a bad place to be for an animal. But I've seen how animals can be taunted, and I can see how three drunk boys could be stupid enough to get a tiger out of its cage. That was not fair to the tiger, who lost her life because of it.

And it really annoys me that the parties involved are trying to turn this into a lawsuit. Sigh, life in these United States.

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