Transcripts show chaos after zoo attack

Other News Materials 30 December 2007 18:23 (UTC +04:00)

( AP )- As more details emerged about the chaotic events that led to a deadly Christmas Day tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo, the family and friends of the slain teenager began mourning.

About 100 people gathered Saturday outside the San Jose home of Carlos Sousa Jr.'s grandmother for a vigil. Many held candles in cups and were silent as Sousa's father stood on the doorstep in front of two enlarged photos of he and his son.

A 350-pound Siberian tiger killed the 17-year-old Sousa Jr. and seriously hurt two of his friends after escaping from its enclosure. Paul Dhaliwal, 19, and Kulbir Dhaliwal, 23, were released from the hospital Saturday. The pair had been under care at the hospital with severe bite and claw wounds since the attacks.

Police said Sousa Jr.'s neck was slashed while trying to scare the tiger away after it attacked Kulbir haliwal. Sousa died at the scene.

Police radio transcripts from the night of a deadly tiger attack revealed a chaotic scene at the San Francisco Zoo as zookeepers scrambled to locate and sedate the animal, and medics refused to enter until they knew they would be safe.

At 5:27 p.m., the officers began firing, killing the tiger. Zoo officials said the zoo would reopen Thursday.

The concrete wall and chain-link fence surrounding the two tigers range from 13 1/2 feet to 16 feet, and the zoo is deciding how much higher to raise the pen, said zoo executive director Joel Parrott. Its tiger exhibit includes a female Bengal tiger weighing 230 pounds and a female Siberian-Bengal mix weighing 305 pounds.