Montgomery Zoo Safety Measures

There are more questions than answers in the case of a tiger mauling in San Francisco, California.  On Tuesday, a man was killed and two others severely injured after a Siberian tiger somehow escaped its enclosure at the San Francisco zoo and went on the attack.

WSFA 12 News talked with a Montgomery Zoo official about how they keep an attack like that from happening here.

The San Francisco zoo is open 365 days a year, but Wednesday, it was closed as police and zoo officials combed the grounds, trying to figure out how a Siberian tiger was able to attack 3 visitors.  "We don't know, as of yet, exactly how it occurred in terms of, number one, how the tiger got out," says Officer Neil Gittens with the San Francisco Police Department.

Steven Pierce with the Montgomery Zoo says the attack in San Francisco should raise awareness everywhere about the power of these animals.  He says these are animals are not ones to be pet and loved on, they are wild animals.

The Montgomery Zoo has three Bengal tigers which are slightly larger than the one that went on an attack in San Francisco.  Pierce says several steps are taken here to make sure its three tigers and other animals don't at the Montgomery Zoo get out of their enclosures. "Every enclosure has double locks, so if something happens to the first lock, the second lock is there to ensure safety."  Pierce also says workers check the enclosures several times a day.  "There is a check in the morning, several in the day and again at night," says Pierce.

Most importantly Pierce says the Montgomery Zoo is a non-contact facility, meaning the zoo handlers never come in contact with the animals.

The San Francisco Zoo is confident Tatiana, the Siberian tiger, did not leave through an open door.  Officials also say the tiger's pen is surrounded by a 15-foot wide moat and a 20-foot high wall. How she escaped and why she went on a rampage, is a mystery. WSFA 12 news Montgomery.

In a statement, the San Francisco Zoo said its sympathies are with the victims. The zoo plans to re-open to the public on Thursday.