Tatiana the Tiger’s Final Moments

By Fred

Two of the officers responsible for killing Tatiana, the tiger at the San Francisco Zoo, have received for the incident the highest honor bestowed by the San Francisco PD — the gold medal of valor.

On Christmas Day 2007, three young men allegedly taunted Tatiana, enraging her enough to make her leap out of her enclosure and chase them. Tatiana managed to kill one of them and maul the other two before the police arrived.

The officers involved are speaking publicly for the first time about that day and describe exactly how and why they brought the magnificent Tatiana down.

It’s best if you read the story straight from them.

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4 Responses to Tatiana the Tiger’s Final Moments

  1. Mauigirl says:

    What I don’t understand is why the zoo doesn’t have expert zoo personnel armed with tranquilizer darts rather than relying on police with guns to control the situation. It’s so sad.

  2. catsworking says:

    While I don’t want to take anything away from the police for having to face a tiger they knew had just killed someone, I don’t think jumping into their car and pumping her full of lead was exactly heroic. Especially when they say she wasn’t charging them, but “loping” toward them.

    And since they admit they know nothing about big cats, how could they tell she looked angry? She had no eyebrows. If she’d really been pissed, I should think she would have made short work of the kid on the ground and pounced on the police before they knew what hit them.

    Sounds to me like Tatiana might have been running toward adult humans who may have seemed more familiar to her because she was scared and confused finding herself out of her familiar enclosure, dealing with two screaming idiots — the Dhaliwal brothers.

    If you read the comments on the SFGate story, sympathy definitely seems to be with the late Tatiana, which is comforting.

    I hope the zoo has laid in some tranquilizer guns and trained staff on how to use them in the future so they don’t waste any more big cats.

    If they remain true to form, I think the future holds nothing but a succession of jail cells for the Dhaliwal boys.

  3. envisionhope says:

    I think it is sad that the only way we seem to be able to handle any situation like this is to kill. I agree with the tranquilizers. Why is this never, ever mentioned or done!

    As for the heroic measures of the police….Maybe if they had been able to stop the boys from committing animal harrassment in the first place, then we would have something…

  4. catsworking says:

    Envisionhope, for humans, killing is the easy way, and lots of macho guys really enjoy it.

    “Honey, I’m home! Guess what I did at work today? I bagged a tiger!”

    If Tatiana had had a gun, she would have stayed in her enclosure and just shot the 3 kids point-blank and been done with them. When you look at the long rap sheets the Dhaliwal brothers have accumulated in their young lives with a variety of crimes, including scuffling with police, some might say it’s a pity Tatiana didn’t get them and save taxpayers a bundle. I believe the older brother, Paul, is in San Quentin doing some hard time right now.

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