Tigers to stay at Zoo, security to be enhanced within 30 days

The tiger exhibit at San Francisco Zoo will not close down despite the Christmas Day escape and rampage of one of its tigers, zoo spokesman Sam Singer said today. The city's Recreation and Park Department is planning new security enhancements to the zoo's tiger grotto that will be in place in 30 days.

The new security will be designed by the same architects who completed the zoo's grizzly bear habitat in June and who were also commissioned to work on renovating its hippopotamus exhibit.

“There are no plans on closing the (tiger) exhibit down whatsoever,” Singer said. “They're designing the (security enhancements) as we speak.”

A police investigation at the Zoo revealed that the 4-year-old, 350-pound tiger Tatiana was not intentionally let out of its grotto when it killed 17-year-old Carlos Souza Jr. and seriously injured two brothers.

Tatiana somehow escaped a grotto surrounded by a 33-foot wide moat and 12-foot high moat wall.

The zoo is scheduled to reopen Thursday at 10 a.m., according to officials. The big cat exhibit will remain closed until further notice.

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