Monday, November 17, 2008

Singapore Zoo: Sorry, no tiger show yet

Sorry, no tiger show yet
Jessica Lim
News Reporter

Jessica Lim gives an update on why the White Tiger exhibit is still closed.

THREE days after last Thursday's shocking tiger attack on a zoo cleaner, the exhibit is still closed and people are still talking.

Comments stream in on on-line blogs and news websites. Some express their condolences, others question the zoo's response to emergencies.

Still others, out of morbid curiosity, requested for copies of the video footage.

Today's schedule at the Singapore Zoo? Two counselling sessions for keepers involved and further monitoring of the rare white tigers.

When I called for an update on the situation there earlier today, a spokesman told me that the tigers "seemed fine" but extra precautions were being taken to "make sure the signs of stress" are "totally gone" and that "the white tigers were comfortable and eating well".

What happened?

The tigers had been traumatised by the incident on Thursday as keepers and members of the public hurled items - including umbrellas and clay balls (from eight safety boxes located around the zoo) - in an attempt to distract the animals away from 32-year-old cleaner Nordin Montong, who died from the attack.

On top of that, the assistant director of the zoo Biswajit Guha told me that the white tigers - on loan from Indonesia - had never made physical contact with a human being since they were brought here seven years ago.

"They had not experienced anything like it before," he said.

The tiger exhibit is likely to reopen later in the week.

Sorry, no tiger show yet
Straits Times, Singapore