Saturday, Dec. 29 UPDATE...Video from NBC Nightly News:
New details in tiger attack
Dec. 29 UPDATE... From Lisa Tsering, reporter, India West:
Regarding what I'm calling the "tiger twins" coverage, my photographer Som Sharma and I spent three hours camped outside the Dhaliwals' house in San Jose, along with around 2 dozen other media. We were the only South Asian press present. They left the hospital in the afternoon but unfortunately didn't go home -- no doubt they're trying to evade all of us!
ORIGINAL POSTING, Friday, Dec. 28:
The big news on Christmas Day in the U.S., two days before Benazir Bhutto's assassination, was that of a tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo. A 350-pound Siberian tiger named Tatiana (seen here in a Flickr photo) killed one young man and put two others in the hospital before being shot to death by the police.
The identity of the dead victim, Carl Sousa, Jr., has been made public and his parents have been interviewed on TV and elsewhere over the last couple of days. But the names of the two other victims, who are brothers and frinds of Sousa's, were not revealed. Until today. From a report this morning by the AP's Jordan Robertson and Marcus Wolhsen:
The 4-year-old tiger, a female named Tatiana, went on a rampage near closing time Tuesday, killing Sousa and severely injuring the two others before police shot it to death.
Brothers Paul Dhaliwal, 19, and Kulbir Dhaliwal, 23, were at San Francisco General Hospital with severe bite and claw wounds. Their names were provided by hospital and law enforcement sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the family had not yet given permission to release their names.
After interviewing the brothers, police said Kulbir Dhaliwal was the animal's first victim.
As the tiger clawed and bit him, Sousa and the younger brother yelled in hopes of scaring it off him, police said. The cat then went for Sousa, slashing his neck as the brothers ran to a zoo cafe for help.
After killing the teenager, the tiger followed a trail of blood left by Kulbir Dhaliwal about 300 yards to the cafe, where it mauled both men, police said.
Four officers who had already discovered Sousa's body then arrived and found the cat sitting next to one of the bloodied brothers, police Chief Heather Fong said. The victim yelled, "Help me! Help me!" and the animal resumed its attack, Fong said.
The officers used their patrol car lights to distract the tiger, and it turned and began approaching them, leading all four to open fire, she said.
Police have not addressed whether the victims had teased the tiger.
On Thursday, Fong denied earlier reports that police were looking into the possibility that the victims had dangled a leg or other body part over the edge of the moat, after a shoe and blood was found inside the enclosure. No shoe was found inside, but a shoeprint was found on the railing of the fence surrounding the enclosure, and police are checking it against the shoes of the three victims, she said.
When Carlos Sousa Jr. didn't show up for Christmas dinner, his father called several of his son's friends - including the two brothers injured in the tiger attack that killed the teen.
Either Amritpal "Paul" Dhaliwal, 19, or his 23-year-old brother Kulbir Dhaliwal answered the phone and told Sousa Sr. that his son wasn't with them. In reality, the three young men were either on their way to or had already arrived at the San Francisco Zoo, where they would later be mauled by a 350-pound Siberian tiger.
"I said, 'Have you seen my son?' and he said, 'No,' then he wished me a merry Christmas," the father said.
The Dhaliwal brothers remained in stable condition Thursday, recovering from their injuries at San Francisco General Hospital. Their relatives, reached Thursday at their home on a quiet San Jose cul-de-sac, declined to speak to reporters.
"We have no comment at this time," said the boys' 25-year-old brother Sunny Dhaliwal, adding that his family wanted to speak to the boys and hospital staff before talking publicly about the incident.
A man accompanying family members outside the house later told a reporter that the family would have nothing to say until after consulting with a lawyer.
The Dhaliwal brothers have been hostile to police in the current death investigation and were "extremely belligerent" in an earlier encounter with police this year, authorities say.
After the zoo attack, authorities said, the brothers had refused to give their own names, identify the victim or initially give authorities an account of what occurred.
Thursday, police interviewed the two brothers, as well as Sousa's father. Authorities didn't release the details of the interviews but did say their investigation showed that the tiger first attacked the older brother.
We will keep abreast of this story and post updates. Post your comments, links and thoughts below.