A man jumped over the wooden barrier that separates the tiger pen from visitors at the Oakland Zoo on Sunday, causing the tiger to pounce from its position to aggressively check the man out. It seems he dropped an item into the area below the viewing deck and was attempting to grab it.
Here is video of the incident taken by Patty Fayad:
Following the incident, the tiger was seen walking back and forth along the fence, growling at the man, who was visibly frightened. And although there was still a fence between the area and the tiger, it puts zoo staff, and onlookers, in a terrible situation.
Zoo incidents across the world have seen people be mauled or even killed by foolishly testing the zoo’s boundaries. In most cases where the trespasser is threatened, zoo staff are forced to kill the animal.
“Because of people like him, the poor animals get blamed and killed,” Fayad said to SFGate. “Doing things like that — especially coming from an adult — is showing children it’s okay to do it when it’s not. People need to respect animals and follow the rules.”
The zoo, which increased the number of personnel at the tiger pit following the incident, released a statement to KPIX 5.
“The Oakland Zoo meets and exceeds safety requirements set by state, federal, and AZA accreditation standards. We hope that all of our visitors act responsibly, and don’t attempt to put themselves in potentially unsafe situations. We thank the Zoo guests that reacted to this individual’s actions when it occurred and alerting us.”
The incident was all too familiar for Bay Area locals as it was near the 11-year anniversary of a fatal tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo. On Christmas Day 2007, a visitor to the San Francisco Zoo was killed and two of his friends were injured after a Siberian tiger leaped out of its outdoor closure and mauled them.
Here’s an easy lesson for everyone out there – don’t climb into the tiger pit.