Zoo settles lawsuit over tiger mauling

Feb. 14, 2009 at 12:18 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Lawyers say the San Francisco Zoo has settled a lawsuit in the death of a 17-year-old boy who was mauled to death by a 243-pound Siberian tiger.

Carlos Sousa Jr., of San Jose, Calif., died Christmas Day 2007 when a tiger named Tatiana escaped from her grotto.

The zoo's insurance company settled the case for an undisclosed amount of money and the Zoological Society has agreed to maintain a bench at the zoo in Sousa's memory, as requested by his parents, said the family's lawyer, Michael Cardoza.

In their lawsuit, Sousa's family alleged the zoo failed to build a safe enclosure for the tiger and ignored warnings the grotto's walls were dangerously low, The San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday.

Two friends who were attacked with Sousa, brothers Amritpal and Kulbir Dhaliwal, have sued the zoo in federal court alleging they were permanently scarred by the attack and falsely accused by zoo officials of teasing the tiger, who was killed by police.

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