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Lawyer: Zoo smears brothers hurt by tiger

Jan. 8, 2008 at 5:46 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- A lawyer for two brothers mauled at the San Francisco Zoo in a tiger attack that killed their friend accuses zoo officials of "character assassination."

News stories in the days after the Christmas Day attack suggested that Kulbir and Paul Dhaliwal and Carlos Sousa might have provoked the Siberian tiger. City Attorney Dennis Herrera requested access to the cell phones the brothers carried and the car they used to travel to the zoo from their home in San Jose. The phones and car are now being held by police.

In his response Monday, lawyer Mark Geragos accused zoo officials of holding the Siberian tiger, one of the most powerful predators on earth, in an enclosure that "couldn't hold a house cat." He said that the zoo and city have been pressuring police investigators.

"None of the victims of Tatiana's attack entered her exhibit or dangled any part of their body into the exhibit, nor did they throw or propel anything at the tiger," he said. "They were patrons at the zoo."

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