L.A. Unleashed

All things animal in Southern
California and beyond

« Previous Post | L.A. Unleashed Home | Next Post »

Canadian man breaks into zoo, gets clawed by tiger

October 6, 2009 |  6:06 am

Vitali

In a clear case of be careful what you ask for, a Canadian man climbed a fence to break into the Calgary Zoo and soon got up close and personal with a Siberian tiger who delivered serious injuries to the gentleman's arm, which landed him in the hospital. The AP says he didn't act (foolishly) alone:

Zoo spokesman Grahame Newton says two men, both 27, broke into the zoo at around 1 a.m. early Monday by scaling [an 8-foot-high] main fence topped with barbed wire.

Newton says one man climbed an outer safety fence around the tiger enclosure. A Siberian tiger, a 2-year-old male named Vitali, hooked the man with a claw and pulled the man's arm through the inner fence.

Police are investigating and say they are considering charges of breaking and entering. They haven't determined whether alcohol was involved.

Zookeepers told the Montreal Gazette that although Vitali is a Siberian tiger, he's "one of our most laid-back cats" and was probably just freaked out by the unannounced intruders.

The trespassers apparently had the cellphone number of one of the four guards at the zoo, who was a friend of theirs. They called her when they realized they were in danger, and she rushed to their aid. She is not considered to be part of the break-in.

"There's no indication that the offender had made contact with the security officer prior to entering the zoo. I don't think that was their intention to contact that person; I think it was just something they stumbled onto," the Gazette reported.

-- Tony Pierce

Photo: Vitali, a 2-year-old male tiger, stretches his jaws in his enclosure at the Calgary Zoo. Credit: Jeff McIntosh / Associated Press

Comments ()

Advertisement










Video