‘Tiger Tales’ still a draw for Hub zoo
By Renee Nadeau and Jessica Heslam | Thursday, December 27, 2007 |
http://www.bostonherald.com | Local Coverage
Anala and Luther continued to draw visitors at Franklin Park Zoo
yesterday, despite news of the deadly tiger escape at a West Coast
zoo, as parents and kids enjoyed Boston’s twin cat exhibit – albeit
behind a 20-foot fence.
“I looked at it and I thought that looks pretty good with the
electric wire, but who knows,” added Christina Durant of Jamaica
Plain. “I mean, we brought a 6-month-old.”
Corliss Angle of Brookline, who brought her two granddaughters to the
Boston zoo yesterday, said, “It never crossed our minds that anything
would go wrong. It’s a wonderful place. I guess these things happen.”
“Tiger Tales” debuted at the Franklin Park Zoo in 2006 – the first
time tigers have been at the zoo in more than 30 years. Anala and
Luther, two rescued tigers, are enclosed in a wire fence and chest-
high glass partition.
At the San Francisco Zoo, investigators are trying to figure out how
a 300-pound tiger named Tatiana escaped from her enclosure and killed
a man and mauled two others Tuesday night. The same tiger ripped into
a zookeeper’s arm about a year ago.
That tiger enclosure is surrounded by a 15-foot-wide moat and 20-foot-
Boston’s zoo was famously rocked by its own animal escape fiasco in
2003 when a 300-pound gorilla named Little Joe got loose and attacked
a 2 -year-old Roxbury girl.
Zoo New England, which runs the Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo in
Stoneham, said in a statement they were “deeply saddened” by the
attack and insisted their zoos are safe.
“At Zoo New England, the well-being of our visitors, staff and
animals is our top priority, and we have extensive safety procedures
in place. Additionally, we perform ongoing inspections of all of our
animal enclosure systems to prevent against escape,” the organization
Karen Eggert, spokeswoman with the USDA’s animal and plant health
inspection service, said, “At this point, we’re only looking into the
incident at the San Francisco Zoo.”
The two Bay State zoos – as well as the San Francisco Zoo – are
accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Officials
at Zoo New England referred calls to the AZA yesterday.
“AZA-accredited zoos are safe,” the association said in a
statement. “Until this incident, there had not been a visitor
fatality resulting from an animal escape at an AZA-accredited zoo.”
Tiger Tales features the Zoo’s new tigers, Anala and Luther, and aims
to educate guests about the problems that arise when exotic animals
fall into the wrong hands as well as the misinformation surrounding
white tigers (Luther is white).
The opening of this exhibit in June 2006 marked the first time tigers
have been exhibited at Franklin Park Zoo in more than 30 years.
Roar of the Crowd
Tigers can weigh 600 pounds, leap as far as 24 feet, and break a
deer’s neck with a single well-placed chomp. They sure do make bad
pets. That’s what visitors to the Franklin Park Zoo learned when
Bengal Tiger ANALA and White Tiger LUTHER went on display in June
after the US Fish and Wildlife Service rescued them from their
neglectful, outlaw owners in a sting operation. In addition to being
one of the most impressive animal exhibits at the zoo in years, the
display is designed to help educate visitors about the plight of
tigers illegally kept in the United States. Franklin Park Zoo, 1
Franklin Park Road, Dorchester, 617-541-5466, zoonewengland.com
For The Tiger
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