The two brothers who were attacked by a tiger at the San Francisco Zoo are now filing a claim against the city of San Francisco, alleging negligence and defamation.
The brothers, Kulbir and Amritpal “Paul” Dhaliwal, along with a friend, 17 year-old Carlos Sousa, Jr., were attacked Christmas Day of this year by a 250-pound Siberian Tiger at the San Francisco Zoo. Apparently, the tiger scaled the walls of its habitat and viciously bit and clawed the three boys, seriously injuring Kulbir and killing Carlos. The tiger was eventually shot and killed by the police.
At first, the blame seemed to be placed on the boys’ shoulders. The Zoo claimed the boys taunted the tiger maliciously, causing the tiger to become so distressed it attacked. In fact, the Zoo was so convinced the attack was the boys’ fault that, despite the intense emotional and physical trauma experienced by the boys, the Zoo impounded their car and considered pressing charges against them for over a month.
New information has been discovered, however, that points the blame in a different direction. Upon inspection, the walls of the enclosure of the tiger’s habitat were found to be lower than recommended by an accredited agency of the nation’s zoos.
The Associated Press writes:
The [legal] documents allege the city failed in its duty to provide a safe zoo environment, defamed the brothers by spreading falsehoods about their possible role in provoking the attack and improperly impounded Kulbir Dhaliwal’s car.
In my opinion, there is no shared fault here. The Zoo is at fault. Whether or not the boys were taunting the tiger before the attack is inconsequential. The walls of zoo animals’ enclosures should not just be tall enough to cage mellow animals, but distressed animals as well, as animals may become distressed with or without human intervention. Zoos must take every precaution necessary to protect their patrons, which include young taunting boys and elderly gentlemen alike, in every situation. To take just enough precautions so your patrons are safe as long as the animals of your zoo, some of which are natural predators, remain calm and collected is absolutely ridiculous. It is, as the boys allege, negligent.
Here in Sacramento, California, there are not too many crazed Siberian Tiger attacks, but we do have our fair share of tragedies. If you or a loved one has been injured, and it is not your fault, I can help you. Please call me and my staff at 916.444.4444, or visit our website by clicking here, The Law Office of Moseley Collins. We can help you.