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If an Animal Escaped, Would You Return to the Zoo?

Most children love animals and a trip to the zoo can be both educational and enjoyable. But, lately that's not the case with the San Francisco Zoo. Beyond the tragic Christmas Day incident when a Siberian tiger climbed out of her enclosure and killed one of the three visitors she mauled, this past week an SF Gate article reports that two more animals almost escaped their confines. It said:

"Zoo officials acknowledged Friday morning that a 100-pound male snow leopard named Ghurka ripped a 4-inch hole in a mesh cage Thursday and stuck his paw and part of his head through the gash."

As for the situation with the zoo's wild-born polar bear, it said:

"Separate zookeepers and other employees have told The Chronicle that the animal, who weighs more than 600 pounds, nearly climbed over a wall of her exhibit on Jan. 3 - the first day the zoo was open after the Christmas Day tiger attack - when zoo officials pelted her with empty tranquilizer darts in a misguided effort to harass her into entering a night enclosure."

If these incidents happened at your local zoo, would you bring your babe there?


Join The Conversation
JessNess JessNess 9 years
it could have been any one that was attacked I get what you are saying Lickety but the fact was that that tiger went specifically after the two guys who were provoking it (the guy that died was a tragic accident). These guys are in no way innocent victims. They were just arrested two months prior for public intoxication, underage drinking and resisting arrest. Ive never been to the SF zoo so Im just talking about all zoos in general....the zoo has a responsibility for safety, no doubt about it but the visitor just as a big responsibility in their own safety and respect for the park. The animals are not kept in cages but in habitats and zoos carefully plan these spaces to protect visitors while giving them the viewing experience. You also have to keep in mind that you cannot just keep these animals in small confined spaces. In the wild tigers have territories that range from 20-100 squared km. Like I said the responsibility comes from both sides. But lately Ive personally witnessed just an overall lack of respect towards the animals kept in zoos from visitors. They are not pets that are kept their for our entertainment I will always support zoos and the work they do. They do not have easy jobs
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 9 years
I am unsure, that is an awful lot of incidents in such a short amount of time that I would have to make sure they were taking precautions before I would return.
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 9 years
I don't think I'll be taking my 5 year old there anytime soon, unless there are some major changes. I agree that the tiger might have been taunted by those foolish boys and all, or that the polar bear is aggressive and all...but we have so much technology these days that we can make it guaranteed that there is no way for those animals to escape like that. And also, if it turns out that a certain tiger or bear is too agressive to keep at the zoo, then send them back to the reserve...I'm sure I would go crazy if I was locked in a cage for my whole life! :) Better to be safe than sorry, I say.
aistea311 aistea311 9 years
I was at the zoo this weekend and was literally 6 feet away from a liger but it was secure. It is not the animal's fault, its the employees. I had such a fun time and last I checked every kid loves the zoo, it is one of my fondest memories from childhood.
JessNess JessNess 9 years
I fully support zoos (they do wonderful things) and definitely go. People need to learn to respect the animals they are viewing regardless of wall height. I was at the San Diego Wild Animal park and saw people chucking fruit at gorillas :oy: The thing about the tiger attack at the SF zoo is that the tiger was being provoked. Any animal that truly and I mean truly wants to escape their enclosure could regardless of high that wall was. Even though the wall was below "recomended" height it still was a remarkable physical feet that it jumped the height and width that it did. Only an animal with great determination and motivation could do that. Since the attack it seems that any little incident which would normally not being given any media coverage is no front page news purposely striking fear in people. In regards to the SF tiger attack the handler before...that seriously comes with the job. Any handler accepts their job knowing the high probability of being injured or attacked. These are not fully domesticated animals...hell even domesticated animals attack. Knowing this it is the handler's responsibility to ensure that they are doing everything possible to prevent being injured, being conscience of every move they make. In the end the zoo has a responsibility for safety (although they cannot prevent everything) and the visitor has a responsibility of respecting the animals and the animals' habitats. People need to continue supporting zoos because they are wonderful institutions that are helping to save species and educate people about animals, conservation and the rapidly declining environment. If you are going to visit a zoo please visit an accredited zoo. Click here to learn about accredited zoos and to find one near you
letsgetloud21 letsgetloud21 9 years
I would go back to the zoo..It mite take some time,but in the end I would return..Sad thing about that boy getting killed,he was not even the one taunting it..:CRY:
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
these animals should not be able to get out whether they are provoked or not. there is a responsibility that comes with housing exotic animals. and the same tiger attacked a zookeeper 2 years ago; and not because he was provoked. this is an outrage, it could have been any one that was attacked. wild animals are by nature unpredictable and hunters. imagine if this had happended to a small child. the cage was not adequate. i've been to that zoo and i can tell you that this is no surprise to me. they spend their money on "pretty" rather than safety. the manager of the sf zoo has a poor safety record. he should be OUT and the entire zoo should be looked at with fresh eyes from a safety standpoint. that polar bear weighs 600 lbs and as a history of agression that keeps him from being housed with the other polar bears. that zoo has problems. we will probably never go back there.
pinkdragonfly pinkdragonfly 9 years
I agree with michelleannette! If the standards need to be changed and explicitly enforced, then so be it. But just because of one isolated incident, I would not boycott the zoo!
michelleannette michelleannette 9 years
i think that it's definitely tragic that someone was killed by an escaped animal...however, it's not the animal's fault. it's not the zookeepers fault. zoos get inspections and if these enclosures were deemed safe, it's time to look at the standards and change them. i think this is a great learning experience.
ccsugar ccsugar 9 years
Of course. Incidents like these seem extremely rare. Animals, unlike idiot human beings, will only attack when provoked. I may get some hate comments from this but I'm about 99.9% positive that the tiger at the SF zoo was being taunted by those boys.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
No. Unequivocally no. It seems that all of these incidents were at least contributed to by subpar zookeeping. No way I would give them another chance without seeing some major change take place.
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