OAKLAND, Calif. - A man was caught on camera hopping over a visitor’s fence at the Oakland Zoo on Sunday, and traipsing very close to the tiger cage.
Patty and Sam Fayad were visiting the zoo with their young nieces from Napa Valley when they herad the man say he dropped something and went to retrieve it.
Patty Fayad, 35, told KTVU on Tuesday that she decided to focus her camera phone on what the man was doing. He is seen in the video climbing back up the visitor’s fence as the tiger, who stays behind a wire cage, runs toward him to see what was going on.
“He was trying to retrieve something but we didn’t see what it was,” Fayad said.
The man wasn’t injured, but his actions prompted a warning from the zoo.
“The Oakland zoo meets and exceeds safety requirements set by state, federal, and AZA accreditation standards,” Erin Dogan Harrison said in an emailed statement. “We hope that all of our visitors act responsibly, and don’t attempt to put themselves in potentially unsafe situations. We thank the zoo guests that reacted to this individual’s actions when it occurred and alerting us.”
Fayad said she was surprised that the man would be so bold and that a young man in the crowd scolded him to not stress out the tigers. She had posted the video on a local Facebook page, where many people have seen and commented on the man’s actions.
On Christmas Day in 2007, three young men visiting the San Francisco Zoo were mauled by a Siberian tiger named Tatiana, who had jumped over the grotto. One of the young men, 17-year-old Carlos Eduardo Sousa Jr. was killed, and two brothers, Amritpal "Paul" Dhaliwal and Kulbir Dhaliwal, were injured. Federal investigators say the tiger was likely provoked into leaping and clawing her way out of the enclosure.
Fayad said the ordeal in Oakland actually made her quite angry.
“It really bothers me,” she said. “I love animals. They’re in their home. It’s just not right. “