Report: Taunting preceded tiger attack
Jan 03,2008 00:00 by UPI
SAN FRANCISCO -- A San Francisco woman said three of the men attacked by a tiger at the city zoo Christmas Day had been harassing the big cats beforehand.

Jennifer Miller told the San Francisco Chronicle she, her husband and two children saw a group of four young men outside the enclosure.

"The boys, especially the older one, were roaring at them. He was taunting them," she said. "The lion was bristling, so I just said, 'Come on, let's get out of here' because my kids were disturbed by it."

After the Millers left, a 350-pound female Siberian tiger escaped and mauled 17-year-old Carlos Sousa Jr., to death and badly injured two others before police killed it.

Miller said Sousa wasn't yelling at the cats.

"He kept looking at me apologetically like, 'I'm sorry, I know we are being stupid,'" she said.

At a Wednesday news conference, zoo Director Manuel Mollinedo refused to comment on whether taunting was suspected in the attack.

"Something prompted our tiger to leap over the exhibit," Mollinedo said.

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