Jan 18 2008
Substantially lowering the bar for the degree of care zoos owe their visitors, most recent news reports about the three guys who were attacked and/or eaten by a tiger at the San Francisco Zoo seem to focus on whether the three guys were taunting the tiger.
Can someone explain to me exactly how this is relevant to anything?
I mean, if the Zoo is trying to defend itself against accusations of negligence by saying “heck, they would have been perfectly safe if they hadn’t pissed off the tiger,” isn’t that kind of overwhelmed by the fact that these guys were attacked and/or eaten by the freaking tiger?
I feel that this relatively important point is being lost in the chattering inquiry about whether the guys had smoked marijuana, were drunk, or had stood on the railing outside the tiger pit making faces and yelling at it.
If I had known that the various moats, pits, chains, fences and cages in zoos were just for show and the psychological comfort of human visitors — you know, maybe gentle suggestions to the animals that they might want to consider avoiding mauling the human visitors, rather than, say, things that actually prevented them from mauling the human visitors — I can tell you that my zoo-visiting procedures would have been substantially different.