It only took three years to get, but the Associated Press has finally gotten hold of reports from the government agency responsible for overseeing our nation's zoos - and they confirm what we pretty much already knew: Investigators agree that Tatiana, the Siberian tigress who killed Carlos Sousa Jr. and attacked his friends on Christmas 2007, must have been taunted by the three inebriated teens. As big cat expert Laurie Gage, from the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspect Service wrote in a draft of her report: "With my knowledge of tiger behavior I cannot imagine a tiger trying to jump out of its enclosure unless it was provoked."
Gage also points out that Tatiana must have had a specific quarry in mind after she left her first victim and passed by (and ignored) other potential prey like "exhibits with warthogs" on her way to the site of the second attacks at the Terrace Cafe.
While the San Francisco Zoo was only fined $1,875 for violating regulations that govern things like tiger enclosures, SFAppeal reminds us that the Dhaliwal brothers - the victims of the second attacks - settled with the Zoo for $900,000 and the Sousa family also settled, although for an undisclosed amount. Meanwhile, Tatiana lives on in a memorial sculpture on Telegraph Hill, but Zoo members and fans of live big cats will have to settle for two Sumatran tigers - Leann and Padang.