Criminals Shouldn’t Profit from Tatiana the Tiger’s Death

By Fred

Tatiana the tiger’s memory is being sullied by legal action. She was killed in December after fatally mauling one teen boy and injuring two brothers who taunted her at the San Francisco zoo. The brothers seeking their fortune off the big cat’s misfortune are already pros in the legal system.


In March, Paul and Kulbir Dhaliwal filed a claim against the city, which owns the zoo and its animals, because 24-year-old Kulbir needed knee surgery after the attack and temporarily lost use of his BMW M3 when it got impounded during the investigation. They also allege a “smear campaign” by the zoo against them.

Their claim was dismissed in May, but they’ll probably file a lawsuit. As for anybody smearing them, they’re their own worst enemies.

The day the claim was filed, 19-year-old Paul was caught allegedly shoplifting from Target some electronic equipment and video games in his pants – and he’d done it at 3 stores. He’s now facing 5 felony counts and faces 3 years in state prison if convicted.

In February, Paul pleaded not guilty to a charge of marijuana possession. Apparently, getting himself chased by a tiger while high didn’t teach him anything.

In December 2007, Paul pleaded no contest to felony reckless driving and other charges from an incident the previous April where he led police on a 140 m.p.h. chase. He was already in Santa Clara County jail for violating his probation when Target filed charges a few weeks ago.

In September 2007, both brothers were arrested on misdemeanor charges after scuffling with San Jose police who nabbed the two after they were seen chasing two men down the street.

The family of Carlos Sousa, Jr., the 17-year-old deceased boy, also filed claim against the city because they think it knew the enclosure wouldn’t keep a pissed-off tiger away from their son and his unfortunate choice of companions.

Meanwhile, the zoo’s director just announced his resignation.

Thanks to the unfailingly poor judgment of the Dhaliwal brothers, a boy and a beautiful cat are dead, a man’s abandoned his career, and there’s no end to their legal hassles in sight. Their lawyer, Mark Geragos, must consider them his dream team.


10 Responses to Criminals Shouldn’t Profit from Tatiana the Tiger’s Death

  1. ronni says:

    Geragos really knows how to pick them, doesn’t he? Winona Ryder, Scott Peterson, Cameron Brown, and now these morons!

    Always willing to assist idiots to get aways with murder.

    And, IMO, it was murder. Taunting a tiger is a dangerous thing. Too bad these guys didn’t learn that in a less dangerous fashion.

    As far as I can see, they got what was coming to them.

  2. i have no issues with anyone suing the zoo. zoos are the most depressing places! i am no friend of zoos. also, i think the zoo is responsible for the death of tatiana and the young boy who was mauled. i think they should be held responsible and unless they acknowledge their failings, the conditions at the zoos will never improve.

    having said that, my gut instinct says that the two boys who survived and are suing the zoo are directly responsible for the tiger and the boy’s death because i do not believe that they didnt taunt the boys. shoplifting is a crime, but that shouldnt be the reason for them not to sue the zoo..IF they were blameless. but i dont believe that. they must be made to pay. my boys and girls will take care of them if i can get them to spend a day or two with those two assholes…they’d be more than happy to settle score for their big sister, tatiana.

  3. catsworking says:

    I think the zoo was too hasty in shooting Tatiana. It seems they could have tried distracting her and tranquilizing her first. But I wasn’t there, so that’s just speculation.

    An autopsy of Carlos Sousa, the boy who was killed and youngest of the 3, showed that he had less than the legal limit of alcohol in his system. I don’t know about the pot.

    One report said he was killed because he didn’t run, but stuck around, trying to protect his “friends.”

    Paul admitted months ago that they WERE taunting the tiger. So the whole scenario appears to be that a 24-year-old guy (Kulbir) with more money than brains, was tooling around town in his BMW on Christmas day, sharing vodka and pot with his 19-year-old brother Paul and this underage kid Carlos, and they decided to visit the zoo, where witnesses reported seeing them acting boisterous.

    They somehow fixated on Tatiana, got her attention, and enraged her to the point that she decided to go after them.

    Yes, the enclosure should have been higher, but I don’t hold the zoo responsible for the behavior of total idiots, since nothing like that had ever happened before. As a gesture of good will, they could have paid the burial and medical expenses. But they’re also out a valuable tiger thanks to those clowns – two of whom happened to have police records for other antisocial stunts.

    I read somewhere that the zoo has spent $1.7 million raising that enclosure from 12′ to 16.7′, but I couldn’t verify the fact in any news report, so I left it out. But if it’s true, I think the zoo has paid its debt. Carlos’ parents have said they’re suing to ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone else. OK, the enclosure is fixed, everyone is safe. Case closed.

    There’s no reason for anyone to become a millionaire off this tragedy. If Mark Geragos pursues the Dhaliwal’s suit, I think we all know what his real motive is.

  4. i agree with you re the zoo acting too hastily. do these people realise that the tiger numbers are dwindling and are close to becoming extinct?

  5. catsworking says:

    I almost get sick when I think of that marvelous, innocent cat losing her life over chronic trouble-makers like the Dhaliwal brothers. Instead of giving them any money for what they did, I’d show them what a real “smear campaign” looks like. They should be sentenced to poop scoop duty for the entire zoo for a couple of years. The animals would undoubtedly enjoy eating extra roughage so they can do their “bit” to avenge their friend Tatiana.

  6. Mauigirl says:

    I totally agree. Those guys were morons and it is a sin what happened to that beautiful tiger because of them. I’ve visited the S.F. zoo a number of times and it’s one of the nicest zoos I’ve been too – a very natural setting, not cruel to the animals at all. In fact, it’s such a natural setting that often you can’t find the animal you’re trying to see! Which is fine with me, because I’d rather the animal have some peace and quiet and not have to be subjected to contact with humans any more than they should be!

  7. Gary Lee says:

    It’s a damn shame that a beautiful animal like Tatiana has to die because of 3 worthless immigrants. And low-lifes, too. That they should have gotten a penny off this is pathetic. Tatiana game them what they had coming to them. She was so enraged that she suddenly became stronger and was able to jump out with ease. And this was AFTER closing hours. Who allowed those filthy immigrants to be in the zoo at that time anyway? And the 4 “brave” cops? Should have been fired. There was no reason to kill Tatiana when they could have darted her just as easily. Heros my butt! Tatiana’s death should be avenged by someone. When they get out of prison, kick those immigrants out of the country. If they’re not taken care of while in prison. California has some tough prisons and accidents can and do happen.

    Great idea to have a statue of Tatiana put up. Nice.

  8. catsworking says:

    Gary, I don’t think Tatiana escaped her enclosure after closing hours. The zoo was open because other visitors saw the guys taunting the tiger.

    I agree that there was no need to shoot to kill, since the police were in a car.

    This is a very old story. We have lost track of the brothers and don’t know if either of them is in jail right now. The fact that they were immigrants isn’t the point. It just as easily could have been stoned American kids. The point is that a beautiful and rare tiger is dead because some humans are really stupid.

  9. ElsaS says:

    Update: Paul Dhaliwal apparently died July 2012, age 24.
    Is this merely rumor?

  10. catsworking says:

    Elsa, I don’t recall the date anymore, but yes, Paul did die. However, I couldn’t find any information online about the circumstances.

    It seemed kind of inevitable that he’d come to a bad, early end, given his track record.

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