SAN FRANCISCO – The female Siberian tiger that fatally mauled a zoo visitor last year was not underfed, according to San Francisco Zoo officials who denied a report that Tatiana's weight loss may have heightened her aggressive behavior.
The zoo officials were responding to a KCBS radio report that indicated the tiger's loss of 50 pounds since her arrival at the zoo from Denver two years earlier may have led to the fatal incident, KTVU.com reported.
After escaping from her grotto on Dec. 25, Tatiana attacked and killed zoo visitor Carlos Sousa, Jr., 17, of San Jose, and injured two others, brothers Amritpal Dhaliwal, 19, and Kulbir Dhaliwal, 23.
Roughly a year earlier, on Dec. 22, 2006, former zookeeper Lori Komejan had been clawed and bitten by Tatiana while feeding her and suffered serious injuries, KTVU.com reported.
According to the KCBS report, the tiger weighed 292 pounds when she arrived from the Denver Zoo in 2005. She weighed just 242 pounds when she was shot and killed by authorities following the deadly San Francisco mauling.
KCBS's report was "incredibly disappointing," according to a statement released by zoo officials, adding that Tatiana's necropsy report indicated she was in "good nutritional status at the time of death."
"The animal keepers and veterinary caretakers at the San Francisco Zoo pamper and love these animals, as if they were a member of their own family," the zoo statement said.