Brothers who were attacked may have been drinking, zoo says

Two brothers mauled when a Siberian tiger escaped her enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo have reportedly taken on a high-profile lawyer to deal with plentiful attention and accusations, including a recent revelation that there may have been alcohol in the mix.

According to public relations specialist Sam Singer, who was hired by the San Francisco Zoo over the weekend, the workers noticed an empty bottle of vodka sitting on the front seat of the car driven by one of the victims. The workers notified police and the car was towed pending the completion of the investigation, Singer said.

<p>The criminal investigation is still ongoing and police spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens said Tuesday that the Department wasn’t going to confirm details until it was completed.

Mark Geragos, who has handled several high-profile cases such as the Scott Peterson murder trial in Redwood City, told ABCNews.com Tuesday that he is representing Paul and Kulbir Dhaliwal, the two brothers who were mauled along with Carlos Sousa Jr.

San Francisco police Chief Heather Fong has repeatedly said investigators didn’t have any evidence that would suggest the mauling victims had taunted the 350-pound Siberian tiger, and Tuesday Geragos said such allegations were “an urban legend.”

Despite being the only link to what actually happened on Christmas Day, the brothers remain tight-lipped. They have yet to speak to either Sousa’s family or the media.

The zoo is scheduled to open Thursday morning, but the big cat enclosures will remain closed to the public. Zoo Director Manuel Mollinedo announced Monday that the exhibit would get a face-lift before opening. The City’s Recreation and Parks Department will oversee the project.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums are assembling a group of prominent zoo directors to visit and consult with San Francisco Zoo management on safety issues. The panel is expected to meet early next week.

bbegin@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

Ahmad Ibrahim Moss, a Lyft driver whose pandemic-related unemployment benefits have stopped, is driving again and relying on public assistance to help make ends meet. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
How much does gig work cost taxpayers?

Some drivers and labor experts say Prop. 22 pushed an undue burden on to everyday taxpayers.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who visited the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 6 headquarters on Recall Election Day, handily won after a summer of political high jinks.	<ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Lessons from a landslide: Key takeaways from California’s recall circus

‘After a summer of half-baked polls and overheated press coverage, the race wasn’t even close’

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents in the U.S. (Shutterstock)
Why California teens need mental illness education

SB 224 calls for in-school mental health instruction as depression and suicide rates rise

The Kimpton Buchanan Hotel in Japantown could become permanent supportive housing if The City can overcome neighborhood pushback. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Nimbytown: Will SF neighborhoods allow vacant hotels to house the homeless?

‘We have a crisis on our hands and we need as many options as possible’

Most Read