It’s Official: Tatiana the Tiger was Taunted

February 17, 2011

By Adele

Well, DUH! Through the Freedom of Information Act, the AP finally saw the full report of the Christmas Day 2007 attack on brothers Amritpal (Paul) and Kulbir Dhaliwal and their teenage friend, Carlos Sousa, Jr., at the San Francisco zoo by Tatiana, a Siberian tiger who escaped from her enclosure and killed Sousa.

In spite of eyewitness reports of the guys acting rowdy, branches, pine cones, and a 9-inch rock found inside the enclosure (that could only have been thrown there), a human footprint on top of the enclosure that just happened to match Paul’s, and even Paul’s admission that they’d been teasing the tiger, authorities tried to paint Tatiana as a big cat who just went ape and tried to shred them for no reason.

I guess people needed it to justify Tatiana’s senseless murder by uniformed chicken-shits who’d never heard of tranquilizer darts and were later awarded “medals of valor” for killing the cat at point-blank range in cold blood.

AP discovered that Laurie Gage, a tiger expert who contributed to the USDA report, had her statement stricken from the report: “With my knowledge of tiger behavior, I cannot imagine a tiger trying to jump out of its enclosure unless it was provoked.”

Long-time Cats Working readers will remember that Fred covered this story extensively, including the interesting lives of the Dhaliwal brothers. After the incident, they continued their routine of drinking and driving, stealing, drugging, lying to police, and bouncing in and out of jail.

Represented by lawyer Mark Geragos, in 2008 the brothers filed a civil suit and walked away with a settlement of $900,000 from the zoo.

On the first anniversary of Tatiana’s demise, local sculptor Jon Engdahl unveiled his memorial to Tatiana, sitting halfway up San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill. San Francisco Citizen got some great photos of the sculpture.

If you want to see all the actual documents, here’s a link courtesy of the San Jose Mercury News.


Between Crimes, Brothers Hope to Profit from Tatiana the Tiger

November 14, 2008

By Fred

Paul and Kulbir Dhaliwal have filed suit seeking unspecified damages against everyone they can think of in the Christmas Day 2007 attack by the late Tatiana, a Siberian tiger at the San Francisco Zoo. They claim to be victims of libel, slander, civil rights violations, and permanent scarring.

Even though Paul, 20, initially admitted taunting Tatiana until she escaped her enclosure, killed 17-year-old Carlos Sousa, Jr., and mauled the brothers, attorney Mark Geragos has helped the brothers remember things differently.

Kulbir, 24, now claims he was attacked after a zoo employee refused to let him take refuge inside a café. He’s also steamed that police impounded for several weeks the BMW M3 he was driving.

Paul’s in jail right now after managing to turn a 30-day sentence for leading police on a 140 mph chase into 16 months in San Quentin after getting caught with marijuana and slapped with a parole violation just 3 days later. He’s expected to be on the loose again next year.

That is, if three counts of commercial burglary and two counts of grand theft (all felonies) he still faces don’t earn him more jail time. He allegedly attempted to steal video game equipment worth more than $400 from Target. Yesterday, a judge was persuaded to dismiss lesser shoplifting charges in a plea deal, but gave him 5 years’ probation and ordered him to stay out of Target.

By the way, Paul’s current jail stay is for two convictions because he got sentenced to serve concurrently after pleading guilty to misdemeanor battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, and public intoxication in September 2007. Kulbir pleaded not guilty.

With the Dhaliwals’ growing criminal rap sheet, Geragos should be ashamed for trying to pass this pair off as two innocent victims who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Their litigation should get buried in a very deep litterbox as the crap it is.

Tatiana the Tiger’s Tormentor Gets Caged

August 18, 2008

By Fred

Last Christmas, Paul Dhaliwal was at the San Francisco Zoo getting chased and clawed by an escaped tiger. This Christmas, he’ll be learning how it feels to live in a zoo – at San Quentin.

The 20-year-old man, who had a varied criminal history before and after the tiger attack that killed his 17-year-old friend Carlos Sousa, Jr., has earned himself 16 months in the slammer after violating his 3-year probation for felony reckless-driving while fleeing the police at speeds that went above 130 mph.

Obviously, one judge believes the world will be a better place with this guy in a secure enclosure.

Paul and his older brother Kulbir were hoping to get rich off a negligence and defamation lawsuit against the city of San Francisco and the zoo for failing to protect them from Tatiana, whom they allegedly goaded into leaping out of her enclosure, and for making them look like the “bad guys” with the media.

Tatiana was shot and killed by police before she could shred the brothers.

Kulbir, another model citizen, faces his own court date on misdemeanor charges of public drunkenness and resisting arrest during a September 2007 scuffle with police at their home, in which Paul has already pleaded guilty to hitting a police officer.

It was a California jury who found O.J. Simpson not guilty of killing his wife Nicole and Ron Goldman. But let’s hope they can’t find another jury stupid enough to make this pair of thugs millionaires for causing the death of an innocent tiger and posing an ongoing challenge for local police.

Did Nacho Breath Make Tatiana the Tiger a Man-Eater?

June 27, 2008

By Fred

Lawsuits in the December 2007 maulings are still pending, but one lawyer claims the late Tatiana became a ravenous killer because the San Francisco Zoo chronically underfed her.

The facts are pretty damning. When Tatiana arrived in SF in December 2005 from the Denver Zoo where she was raised from a cub, she’d been eating 42 pounds of meat 7 days a week and weighed 292 pounds.

When she was killed last December after attacking three teenage boys, she weighed only 242. Her diet in SF was only 32-36 pounds of meat 6 times a week. She’d dropped 20 pounds in the first month alone.

Written records and observers indicate that Tatiana was a notorious grabby-paws at mealtime. During a public feeding in December 2006, she clawed and gnawed zookeeper Lori Komijan’s arms through the cage bars. The very next day, the zoo increased her weekly meat ration to 38-42 pounds, but cut back again 5 weeks later.

Komijan’s civil lawsuit claiming zoo negligence goes to trial September 2.

Now the lawyer for the family of the late Carlos Sousa, Jr., says that smelling nachos on one of the Dhaliwal brothers could have made Tatiana mistake the boys for Tiger Chow.

However, Tatiana’s autopsy revealed she had a full stomach (which weakens the “nacho cravings” argument), was in excellent health, and showed no signs of malnourishment.

So if the boys’ lawsuits are filed as expected, their success will likely depend on jurers believing the zoo turned Tatiana into a starving predator who went nuts over nacho breath.

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

June 11, 2008

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.

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