Tigers Don’t Like Drunks? Police Believe Intoxication/Taunting May Have Contributed to Tiger Attack


View Larger Map of San Francisco Zoo where tiger attacked three visitors, killing Carlos Sousa, Jr.

One of the three victims of San Francisco Zoo tiger attack was intoxicated and admitted to yelling and waving at the animal while standing atop the railing of the big cat enclosure, police said in court documents filed Thursday.

Paul Dhaliwal, 19, told the father of Carlos Sousa Jr., 17, who was killed, that the three yelled and waved at the tiger but did not throw anything into the tiger enclosure to provoke the cat.

An affidavit cites multiple reports of a group of young men taunting animals at the zoo.

Also in the affidavit: Toxicology results for Dhaliwal showed a blood alcohol level of 0.16 percent — twice the legal limit for driving. Kulbir Dhaliwal’s blood alcohol level was .04 percent. Sousa’s was .02 percent. All three young men tested positive for marijuana in their systems. Kulbir Dhaliwal told police that the three had smoked pot and each had “a couple shots of vodka” before departing San Jose and heading for the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day.

Police found a bottle of partially filled vodka and a small amount of marijuana in Kulbir Dhaliwal’s 2002 BMW — the car used to travel to the zoo.

A bloodied post was found about 18 inches in from the middle of the railing around the tiger exhibit — an area prohibited to public access. The location was close to where the body of Carlos Sousa, Jr. was found outside the railing.

More info …
San Francisco Zoo — sfzoo.org