January 7, 2008

January 7 | Shiva the tiger

August 1981 - January 7, 2000: Age 18

Shiva the tiger was famous for one thing in his life: in January 1996 he struck a blow for zoo animals everywhere when he lashed out at two drunk men who had crossed into his zoo enclosure. According to a witness, "I was shocked to see the two young men weaving about in front of a tiger with garlands in their hands." They apparently intended to put the garlands around the tiger's neck: they were said to be devotees of the goddess Durga, and wanted to worship the animal.

When one threw the garland around Shiva's neck, the tiger attacked him. His friend kicked the tiger in the face, causing it to release the first man and attack him. "I saw it all; the tiger turned and jumped on the other young man and put its head on the man's neck, and within moments, the man was apparently dead, his head dangling."

Shiva died of old age on January 7, 2000. He was 18 years and 5 months, considered a rather long life for a tiger. He had lived at the zoo since the age of two.

I selected this story months ago: it is a sad coincidence that just this Christmas a similar incident happened, although it is not clear yet whether or not alcohol or bad behaviour on the part of the humans was involved.

1 comment:

daap said...

I remember hearing about the guy jumping in the tiger pit. I get upset when people are upset at the animals when things like this happen.