Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Physicist Calculates Trajectory of Tiger At SF Zoo

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the parabolic-stripes dept.

Security 713

KentuckyFC writes "Is it really possible for a 350-pound tiger to leap a 12.5-foot barrier from 33 feet away? (Said another way: a 159-kg tiger, a 3.8 m barrier, and 10 m away.) A physicist at Northeastern University has done the math, a straightforward problem in ballistics, and the answer turns out to be yes (abstract on the physics arXiv). But I guess we already knew that following the death of Carlos Souza at the paws of Tatiana, a Siberian Tiger he had allegedly been taunting at San Francisco zoo at the end of last year."

cancel ×

713 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Hmm (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260692)

Someone should warn SF Zoo!

Re:Hmm (4, Funny)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260748)

Seriously, you'd think the people who designed the enclosure would know how to do that kind of math... or at least be smart enough to get a consult. I wonder how many aquarium designs they went through before they finally made one that held its contents properly...

=Smidge=

Re:Hmm (4, Informative)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261002)

Well TFA points out that the enclosure didn't meet the recommended height, but still passed a safety check by the same body that actually made the recommendations.. strange, and tragic.

Re:Hmm (4, Insightful)

Megane (129182) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261054)

The people who "designed the enclosure"? It was (IIRC) a WPA project from the 1930's. It wasn't designed, it was built.

The crazy part was that the people who ran the zoo had no idea of its height, or lack thereof. And when inspectors came through the zoo a couple of years ago, nobody mentioned to the zoo that the height was below standard. In other words, it's not a design problem (the height was fine when it was built, back when nobody was stupid enough to taunt tigers like that), it's a maintenance problem, as in keeping up to standards, or even knowing that you aren't.

Re:Hmm (1)

dasbush (1143709) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260934)

Too late... FTA:

Is this kind of speed possible for a tiger? Apparently yes. Syed says tigers can reach speeds of 35 miles per hour with a run up of only a few feet so this enclosure was clearly no barrier to Tatiana.
After her leap for freedom, Tatiana killed 17-year old Carlos Souza and was shot dead after mauling two other victims.
Emphasis mine.

Re:Hmm (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261184)

That was kind of my whole point

Re:Hmm (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22261284)

*whoosh*

Emphasis mine.

Wow, talk about an unsafe zoo! (2, Interesting)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260708)

Surely someone would have calculated how far away a tiger needed to be from the public? Or doesn't anyone know how far a tiger can leap at SF zoo?

Re:Wow, talk about an unsafe zoo! (1)

framauro13 (1148721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260940)

Yeah, I believe the problem was the wall didn't meet the recommended specifications of 16 and 1/2 feet, which gave the tiger the clearance it needed.

The taunting was just the motivation it needed.

Re:Wow, talk about an unsafe zoo! (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260950)

Unfortunately, the zoo made their initial estimates for the enclosure based on the ballistic characteristics of a Southern Asian tiger carrying a coconut, not an unladen Siberian tiger, so their calculations were off slightly.

Re:Wow, talk about an unsafe zoo! (5, Funny)

Jamu (852752) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261116)

They did, unfortunately the calculations were only accurate for spherical tigers leaping in a vacuum.

Never mind the physics (5, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260728)

It's just nice to see that the zoo's kharma system was working. Unfortunately, someone meta-modded the tiger with a shotgun.

Re:Never mind the physics (1)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260766)

For me, the only physics I would have been interested in if that tiger had escaped near me would have been one of ballistics. From the barrel of a shotgun.

Re:Never mind the physics (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260844)

A shotgun? Very unlikely to kill it, almost guaranteed to enrage it.

Re:Never mind the physics (0)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260876)

Whatever, I wouldn't be shooting it. If it turned on the one doing the shooting, I'll be long gone. :P

Re:Never mind the physics (4, Funny)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261250)

Exactly, the only math I would do if I saw a tiger attacking is:
  1. The distance from me to the tiger
  2. The distance from me to my car
  3. The distance from me and some guy I can beat in my race between me and my car

Re:Never mind the physics (5, Informative)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260928)

A shotgun? Very unlikely to kill it, almost guaranteed to enrage it.

Actually, I believe they DID kill it with a shotgun - just not loaded with birdshot. Slugs. You don't use a high powered rifle in a setting like that, or bet your life on a handgun. A 12-gauge with slugs will definitely kill something that sized, no problem.

So he taunted... why difference does it make? (0, Flamebait)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260744)

The repeated mentioning of this guy taunting the animal irritates me, because it seems to imply it was his fault.

Sure, if I saw a guy taunting animals at the zoo I'd think he was a complete jerk. If it was really out of hand, I'd call security to arrest the guy.

But it's not something he deserved to die for.

Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260898)

The repeated mentioning of this guy taunting the animal irritates me, because it seems to imply it was his fault.

Yeah, climbing over the fence to deliberately provoke a large predator and whatnot... totally the zoo's fault.

the tiger had superior knowledge of the situation (5, Insightful)

John_Sauter (595980) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260914)

The repeated mentioning of this guy taunting the animal irritates me, because it seems to imply it was his fault.

Sure, if I saw a guy taunting animals at the zoo I'd think he was a complete jerk. If it was really out of hand, I'd call security to arrest the guy.

But it's not something he deserved to die for.

The tiger, obviously, disagreed with you. I submit that the tiger had better knowledge of the extent and degree of taunting that you do.

Re:the tiger had superior knowledge of the situati (4, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261122)

Also, taunting a tiger is a lot different than taunting a shrew, a turtle, or any other animal at the zoo. Those other ones don't have a reputation as man-eaters. Who's to say that a tiger couldn't get out of pretty much any enclosure, given that it felt pissed off enough? the 12-footx30-foot distance is supposed to remind you that this cat means business.

Taunting a tiger is a bit like running down the street screaming the N word in Harlem: there are much, much safer ways to be a jackass.

Re:the tiger had superior knowledge of the situati (2, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261280)

the 12-footx30-foot distance is supposed to remind you that this cat means business

Except, apparently, the Zoo knew that the 12 foot wall was four feet short of recommended guidelines for containing a healthy man-eating tiger in the presence of the general public. Also, the Zoo should quite rationally be fully aware that in any sample of the general public, there will be jackasses who would like to taunt said cats, and also vulnerable people who are completely innocent nearby, should the tiger still be hungry after eating said jackass.

Re:the tiger had superior knowledge of the situati (1)

NinjaTariq (1034260) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261324)

I nominate this guy for a Darwin Award (or second it if someone has already).

Sure he didn't deserve to die, and I feel for the family of the guy killed. However I agree with your analogy, he didn't think through the whole pissing off a tiger idea. My cats, about a 10th or less of the size of a tiger can jump almost half that hight should the need arise, I would expect a tiger to be able to make a similar feat.

The Zoo is equally is also to blame, should the guy have not taunted it, it would obviously still have been possible to jump that.

Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22260916)

The repeated mentioning of this guy taunting the animal irritates me, because it seems to imply it was his fault.


Sure, if I saw a guy taunting animals at the zoo I'd think he was a complete jerk. If it was really out of hand, I'd call security to arrest the guy.


    But it's not something he deserved to die for.

It isn't as if this is a judicial sentence of death. What he deserved is irrelevant. You use that term when you are talking about justice not when you are talking about accidents with wildlife.

It is a good habit not to blame the victim of a crime. But no real crime occurred here. He was just the victim of an accident that he caused. This should be repeated in every story discussing this event as a warning to any other stupid individual who thinks taunting tigers is harmless.

Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (2, Insightful)

lucifig (255388) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260938)

I've been to the zoo dozens of times and have never been mauled by any animals. I'm not saying he deserved to die, but maybe he should have stuck to taunting the turtles.

Ob. Simpsons: (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261006)

"Och, someone save me from the wee turtles! They were too fast for me!"

Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261088)

I wouldn't mess with the turtles if I were you. While the tiger's retribution may be swift and deadly, the turtle is content to bide his time, and has a much colder, darker heart. Once you get on a turtle's bad side, your life will never be the same. The turtle will make the rest of your long life a living hell. A turtle is cold and evil, and he never forgets.

Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (1)

apt142 (574425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261270)

Hey, let's not forget the ninja skills he picked up from the park rat.

Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (2, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261134)

I've been to the zoo dozens of times and have never been mauled by any animals.

You are not going to the right zoos then.....

Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (1)

r00b (923145) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260956)

The Tiger disagreed

Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22260974)

Dumb enough to dangle your foot into the enclosure of a dangersous animal seems to be reason enough to die for me. It's a shame the animal had to die.

http://www.encyclopediadramatica.com/Carlos_Sousa_Jr [encycloped...matica.com]

Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (1)

TomSawyer (100674) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260990)

The repeated mentioning of this guy taunting the animal irritates me, because it seems to imply it was his fault.

I'm sure some misguided folks think he did deserve to die. However, the details of the taunting points to the possibility of the tiger's performance having been aided by adrenaline. The fellow wasn't just a helpless bystander when a tiger suddenly realized that she could escape her enclosure.

Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22260992)

the main difference is that with out the taunt it would imply that the tiger would not have attacked

i dont think he deserved to die, but i dont think he deserved to walk away either, tigers a apex predictors....you dont taunt, or disrespect, or whatever something that can frickin maul you

he did, he got mauled...he died....cause and effect, im sorry, if you dont wanna get mauled consider cutting back on the total exposure time to tigers....that or dont dangle your legs into their cage like a freakin moron, hope this kid gets a darwin award

Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261004)

But it's a mitigating factor. The tiger didn't attack some random person, this guy was doing something to provoke the attack. That puts the attack in a different category. Both categories are bad in this case, but they are still different.

A well designed enclosure would have prevented this. The zoo is at fault. There is no question there.

However, the guy wasn't innocent. The tiger may not have attacked if he was behaving differently. There is a risk when you tease a 350lb killing machine. I see the fact he was doing that as important.

Your point is a bit like "sure he was kicking the dog, but that doesn't make it OK that the dog mauled him". Just because the result (mauling) was worse than the crime (kicking the dog) doesn't mean the crime is irrelevant.

Now teasing a tiger is not as bad as kicking a dog... the tiger isn't actually injured. The point is that the guy is not without blame.

If I had kids, I'd rather they heard this story with that fact, and would get the chance to learn the lesson "don't taunt things that can easily kill you, even if you think you're safe" than either never learn that lesson or learn it the hard way.

A lot (5, Interesting)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261022)

Wanna bet the tiger would still be in its cage if these drunken idiots had decided NOT to shoot it with a slingshot? The only tragedy here was the tiger having to be killed.

Re:A lot (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261206)

What if a child with a limp walks by the tiger enclosure? Or someone with a bandaged wound? Or a stray dog gets into the zoo and barks at the tiger?

It seems clear to me that you build a tiger exhibit in a way that doesn't require the tiger's continued good will to keep it inside.

Re:A lot (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261340)

It would also still be in its cage if the zoo had built a wall of the recommended height.

Re:A lot (5, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261408)

I've been to tens of zoos hundreds of times, as I'm sure many of us have, and I always look at the tigers. They are almost always sleeping, or maybe moving to where the food is, eating it, and then sleeping. Once I saw one playing with a ball or a tree trunk and looking excited... and then it got its food that it was waiting for, ate it, and layed down to sleep again. In all of these situations the tigers seemed to care less that there people present, including typical zoo noise like kids "roaring" at the tigers. I shudder to think the amount of contact/irritation/etc. that would be necessary to have the following happen:
1) distract the cat from sleeping,
2) make it get up,
3) make it target you,
4) make it risk its own safety to jump out of its "den" to attack you,
5) make it actually attack, and
6) make it track you hundreds of feet past many other potential targets, now that it's free.

Re:A lot (2, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261424)

The only tragedy here was the tiger having to be killed.

I disagree. Most of us go through phases of being quite evil and pathetic, and also of being selfless and kind. Most of us are sometimes wretched, sometimes wonderful, and mostly in-between. As a parent, I have a deeper love for my kids than I ever would have expected prior to being a parent. I know they will be sometimes evil; one of my jobs is to minimize that. But I think it would be a tragic, albeit a just one, for most persons to die in this manner.

Deserve ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22261064)

I think nobody meant that taunting a carnivorous 350 pound animal deserve death. But he has to support the consequence of his own act, and the consequence of taunting previously mentioned carnivorous (CLIMBING on top the the security barrier) was death. Most of us don't even see why the tiger had to be killed, really. Those are tiger. To them we are food. They aren't your average 10 pounds kitten.

Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (1, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261074)

I agree. Being a jerk for a few minutes to a tiger doesn't mean you should die.

I don't think it's mostly about "jerks deserve to die" though. I think most of the reason people like to keep repeating it is it gives them a comforting thought that the world is under their control, and safe. We're safe from tigers as long as WE don't taunt them. This guy was the cause of the problem, so there's no real need to worry about tigers escaping from cages (ignoring the other two people who were mauled of course).

Of course, the cage wasn't tall enough, and the Zoo is obviously responsible for this mans death. I'll ignore the whole argument if we should have Zoos for Tigers in the first place.

Darwin award contender? (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261154)

Being a jerk for a few minutes to a tiger doesn't mean you should die.
But it does mean that if you do die, it's your own stupid fault.

Re:Darwin award contender? (4, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261242)

Being a jerk for a few minutes to a tiger doesn't mean you should die.
But it does mean that if you do die, it's your own stupid fault.
QFT.

Nobody is saying he deserved to die. If you take risks with your life and the risk doesn't pay off.. well tough.

Re:Darwin award contender? (1)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261344)

He definitely meets the criteria:

1) Removed from gene pool.
2) Removal brought about by own stupidity.
3) Removal was spectacular and unique.

Too bad the killed the tiger. They should have fed his friends to the tiger as a reward for helping cleanse the gene pool of undesirable elements and to complete the cleansing.

Cheers,
Dave

He had it coming. (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261132)

The repeated mentioning of this guy taunting the animal irritates me, because it seems to imply it was his fault.

Wasn't it? If you annoy a domestic cat, you're going to get scratched or bitten. How hard it is to deduce that if annoying a little cat will get you hurt, then annoying a big cat is likely to get you killed? There is a reason that many zoos have signings warning people not to tease the animals. The reason is simple: humans are fragile, and easily hurt by angry animals.

The guy pissed off the tiger, and paid for it with his life. If he hadn't been so careless, he'd still be alive. Frankly, he should be put into the running for a Darwin Award.

Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (1)

mebollocks (798866) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261286)

http://www.nwf.org/nationalwildlife/article.cfm?issueID=117&articleID=1515 [nwf.org]
"There are more tigers in the United States--as many as 10,000--than in the wilds of Asia. Held in public zoos and private hands, these captive cats are so genetically degraded through rampant cross-breeding that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated them a virtually new, ninth subspecies: the "generic captive tiger."
I find it very hard to sympathise with any human being killed by a Tiger outside of it's natural territory. They will be extinct in our lifetime.

Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261302)

He didn't deserve it, but asked for it.

Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261314)

Nobody deserves to die but when they do things that are incredibly stupid like shooting at a tiger with a slingshot and climbing over the fence that holds the tiger in.... well, this stuff tends to happen.

People die all the time doing things they should not have been doing. Base jumping off tall buildings, walking on train tracks, driving while drunk, robbing banks... you can argue that all of these aren't enough to deserve death but who is at fault? The architects who designed the building, the city planners who put in the train line, the car manufacturers who designed the car, the legal system that outlawed stealing other people's money????

The guy put himself and others in danger by provoking a dangerous animal and providing it the opportunity to escape and run amok.... did you know the tiger actually climbed up the guy who was hanging over the fence in order to get out of the enclosure? It would have been much more difficult for it to escape if he hadn't been hanging over the fence (maybe impossible) providing a convenient ladder of sorts...

Who are you to judge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22261328)

Nature has a history of being a harsh judge. Don't mess with the mother.

Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (1)

Alcoholic Synonymous (990318) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261414)

Um, yes. He did. Just the same as anyone else, he knew how do behave. He taunted something that was captive and learned quick that he didn't have the balls to back up his mouth. If this would happen more often, natural selection instead of pansy apologism, the world would be a much better place.

He pissed off a tiger for crying out loud, and that's a mistake you should be able only make once.

Lesson in international relationships... (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260764)

Never taunt someone call Tatyana or god forbid Katusha... If you value your life that is...

Re:Lesson in international relationships... (1)

GreenEggsAndSpam (658869) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260998)

At least nobody seems to be wanting to annoy the free-roaming croc named Cthulhu....

(And yes, I know Cthulhu isn't a croc, but if you named a croc that.... REALLY, who would mess with it?)

The zoo should know stuff like this. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22260776)

After all, it's exactly the type of thing you should think about about when you design enclosures for dangerous animals. My family all seem to think that because this guy was taunting the tiger, the zoo is relieved of its liability. I think that's ridiculous--even if he was being stupid, you go to the zoo with a reasonable expectation that the animals can't get at you, and that means thinking hard about how high they can jump, not just building the wall up until you guess there's no way a tiger's jumping out of there.

Re:The zoo should know stuff like this. (1)

artgeeq (969931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261204)

I couldn't agree more. I was watching The Paper Chase, a movie from 1973, about the education of Harvard law students, and this got me to thinking. What if I had been at the zoo and I happened to be carrying a leg of lamb. The tiger, smelling the lamb, got agitated and jumped his enclosure. Or what if one of the chimpanzees escaped, upset the tiger, and the tiger decided to jump his enclosure and eat the chimpanzee and then the hot dog salesman. The entertaining possibilities are many, perhaps even endless. It just so happens in this case that someone who was very young -- young people often do things that disregard their inherent mortality -- did something that was not smart but not really out of step with what an unsupervised youngster would do. Do we then say that it was the young man's fault for taunting the tiger? I don't think so.

Good movie, BTW.

35mph sure - but not uphill! (2, Informative)

jbb1003 (514899) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260798)

So 26.7mph is fine - great, but I'd like to see a tiger run at 26.7mph uphill (at 55 degrees!). That would be vastly more impressive than 35mph on the flat.

Combustion engineering (1)

Dr. Cody (554864) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260820)

Perhaps it's time we get a combustion engineer on the case of:

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?


Were William Blake's original calculations performed using the higher heating value? Was incomplete combustion taken into account? Unless it was pulverized tiger, which the "symmetry" remark seems to argue against, LOI must be taken into account for any reasonable assumption of the tiger's luminous characteristics.

Prior Research (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260826)

Is it really possible for a 350-pound tiger to leap a 12.5-foot barrier from 33 feet away?

All prior researchers have not returned from the jungle. Information is incomplete.

Coincidentally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22260842)

...also a trivial problem to solve in the related field of awfuckfuckfuckrunit'satigeristics and also very likely according to Murphy's Law.

Call in the lawyers (4, Insightful)

arkham6 (24514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260850)

Well, I guess this is enough for the lawsuits to start flying at the zoo. Surely there are enough lawyers out there that will take the case. "Your honor, the zoo was clearly negligent in designing a tiger cage that a tiger could jump out of. The fact that the victim was allegedly taunting the tiger does not factor into the fact that the tiger was able to escape due to the mistake of the zoo building the environment."

Re:Call in the lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22261060)

Feed the lawyers to the tigers.

Re:Call in the lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22261304)

Feed the lawyers to the tigers.
Good thing you posted anonymously. I'd report you to your local SPCA otherwise.

Re:Call in the lawyers (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261114)

Well, I guess this is enough for the lawsuits to start flying at the zoo.

Maybe the physicist can calculate the trajectories of the lawsuits too.

Re:Call in the lawyers (2, Informative)

Goobermunch (771199) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261124)

This is stupid.

Yes, the zoo was negligent. It should have known the safe parameters for a tiger enclosure.

However, in the law, there's a doctrine called comparative (or contributory negligence). This means that where two people are negligent and one gets hurt, his or her recovery is reduced by his or her own proportion of the fault.

F'rex: A jury looks at this situation and says "Boy, the zoo sure was negligent, they should have built a higher wall. But boy, did this guy act stupidly, entering the enclosure and taunting that tiger. We're going to split the fault between them. And his total economic worth (over the rest of his life) was $800,000 (since he clearly wasn't that bright)."

Then the judge comes along and says--"okay, the award is $800,000.00. But the moron was 50% at fault. Therefore, his family gets $400,000.00."*

* Actually, in some states, he gets nothing, because his fault was not less than that of the other idiot.

But you can't argue that the zoo's not at least partially at fault. It clearly had an enclosure that wasn't adequately designed to keep the tigers in. The fact that the person who got hurt provoked the tiger doesn't lessen the fact that the enclosure failed to do what it was supposed to do.

--AC

Re:Call in the lawyers (1)

arkham6 (24514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261210)

Oh yeah, I know about comparative negligance. But a lawyer sure isnt going to press for that. But regardless the lawyer is more concerned about getting 1/3rd of SOMETHING, so 1/rd of 400K is better than 1/3rd of 0.

Re:Call in the lawyers (1)

Goobermunch (771199) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261318)

That's why there are lawyers on both sides of a lawsuit.

The lawyer for the dead kid will push for the full amount. The Zoo's lawyer will argue that the kid was more negligent than the zoo and therefore, his family should get nothing.

Sadly, in this case, I think the zoo's negligence is greater. They're just "lucky" that there is a way to blame the kid at all. Imagine the response if the tiger had jumped out and mauled a 1st grade class.

--AC

Which begs the question... (3, Insightful)

imstanny (722685) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260874)

Which begs the question; What kind of methods are used to determine the 'standards' for an inclosure?

Re:Which begs the question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22260944)

Well, first you must consider a spherical tiger of uniform density...

Re:Which begs the question... (1)

framauro13 (1148721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261178)

Judging from the San Francisco zoo I'd say Trial and Error.

Another interesting calculation... (5, Funny)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260902)

I did a similar calculation a while ago.

An object of 750kg can accelerate to 60km/h in 5 impulses (rapid pushes).
How far will an object of 75kg travel when one such impulse is applied at angle of 45 degrees upward?

The 750kg object is a horse. About 5 pushes of hind hooves are enough to reach the full speed.
The 75kg object is a human kicked by the horse (remaining motionless with a counter-push of front hooves).

The result was something like 30 meters. The damage was equivalent to fall from 6th floor.

And they tell us horses can't say "no" when they don't want sex.

Re:Another interesting calculation... (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261378)

I think your figures are a bit off, seems you're combining the weight of a draught horse with the acceleration of a racehorse.

great! (0, Flamebait)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260904)

time to work on my tiger cannon as the perfect means to an end to deal with a prize jerk who gets off on taunting caged animals!

the question of blame is interesting, yes there is blame to the zoo for the inadequate protection, but there is also blame to victim no. 1 for being a prize asshat.

Possibilities vs explanations (4, Insightful)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260932)

"Is it really possible for a 350-pound tiger to leap a 12.5-foot barrier from 33 feet away? ... But I guess we already knew that following the death of Carlos Souza at the paws of Tatiana, a Siberian Tiger he had allegedly been taunting at San Francisco zoo at the end of last year."

If we already know the answer, then the question really is, can we explain how a 350-pound tiger to leap a 12.5-foot barrier from 33 feet away, or do we need to do some more research?

Inaccuracies (3, Interesting)

sifi (170630) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260946)

Looking at this diagram: http://www.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2008/01/03/mn_grotto.jpg [sfgate.com] You can see that it is 33ft along and 2.5ft up for starters. (12ft is from the bottom of the moat, not from where the tiger jumped).

Then the tiger's centre of mass is probably about 2.5ft up anyway so it more about being able to jump 33ft flat.

Also speed doesn't translate into distance in this simplistic way either: if it did humans would be almost able to jump the distance (max speed = 26.25mph) which is close as damm it to the 26.7mph required.

Re:Inaccuracies (1)

Bob-taro (996889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261388)

Also speed doesn't translate into distance in this simplistic way either: if it did humans would be almost able to jump the distance (max speed = 26.25mph) which is close as damm it to the 26.7mph required.

Actually, the (human) long jump record is 7.52m, so we almost can jump that far (well, same ballpark, anyway). I guess it depends on how well you can shift that forward momentum into upward momentum.

That is a good point about the center of gravity. It may have already been a few feet in the air AND a few feet past the edge when it left the ground. Likewise, it may not have quite needed to get it's center of gravity on a trajectory that would clear the wall, as long as it got it's front paws on the opposite side enough to pull itself the rest of the way over.

There's more going on here (2, Interesting)

ckhorne (940312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260966)

The numbers don't tell the entire story. Just because something can go 27mph doesn't mean it can necessarily project itself over the fence at a given projectory. The worlds fastest humans can go 27mph, but I'll put money against their ability to jump over a 12.5' fence; the world high jump record is 8'. Tigers and people are built differently for sure, but I'm not sure how the math applied in this document applies to animals when so many other factors are at play.

Re:There's more going on here (2, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261196)

I think the point is that a trivial, back-of-the-envelope calculation would've told them that an idealised tiger could've jumped the fence. If you build a fence which can hold an idealised tiger, it's more than enough for the real thing. I'm sure our engineers, physicists and chemists will agree that a bit of head-scratching and guesstimation is advisable before you do something that could blow up in your face.

I'll wait for the Mythbusters segment on this (5, Funny)

sizzzzlerz (714878) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261012)

before I finally decide.

Re:I'll wait for the Mythbusters segment on this (1)

EricWright (16803) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261362)

I can just see it now... a pissed off tiger leaping out and shredding poor ol' Buster. I think the lack of meat might just piss off the tiger even more!

Ya know... (1)

Bluewraith (1226564) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261014)

Since I heard this story I have kept believing that it was some drunken college kid throwing french-fries at the Panthera tigris and subsequently losing the rest of his fries when disemboweled. I think my original quote was "Hey! Let's see what will happen when I throw a french-fry at a tiger! Make sure to put it on YouTube!"

Wow what a surprising answer... (1)

Sepiraph (1162995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261016)

I thought the tiger flew.

What I'd REALLY like to see (1)

Fx.Dr (915071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261018)

Quantum Physicist Calculates Trajectory of Tiger At SF Zoo

Really, just stick the damn tiger in a box.

Re:What I'd REALLY like to see (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261292)

The quantum physicist would merely point out that there's a small possibility of the tiger merely passing through the enclosure fence, so the height is irrelevant.

Re:What I'd REALLY like to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22261386)

I'm not so certain about that.

Two hunters (1, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261020)

Two hunters are in the jungle and they see a tiger coming towards them at the other side of a clearing. Fred raises his rifle, and pulls the trigger. It misfires. Then Bill's gun jams. The tiger is steadily approaching, licking its lips. Fred suddenly takes off his pack and starts limbering up. "What are you doing," says Bill, "you'll never outrun a tiger."

"True - but I only need to outrun you!" replies Fred.

The sickest part about the tiger attack... (1)

vudufixit (581911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261026)

Was the fact that people left all sorts of candles, flowers, etc for the tiger that attacked the boy and was killed. Virtually nothing was left for the mauling victim.

Re:The sickest part about the tiger attack... (4, Insightful)

Punko (784684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261120)

No. the sickest part was putting the tiger down because a human was stupid beyond belief and a zoo didn't build an enclosure to protect the public AND the tiger from stupid humans. The tiger deserved the tribute because it died because it behaved to its expected nature. The human was mauled because he was STUPID and the zoo was irresponsible.

You can blame the zoo and blame the human, but the the tiger was innocent - the tiger was the victim here. Do not loose sight of this fact.

Re:The sickest part about the tiger attack... (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261402)

The tiger was an innocent victim, and people feel sympathy for her. She was provoked and did what her instincts told her to do. The guy who got mauled is at fault for taunting her, and the zoo is at fault for not making the wall high enough. The only real innocent party in all of this is the tiger.

Lateral velocity != jumping velocity (5, Insightful)

daffmeister (602502) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261030)

From TFA:

From our calculations it was shown that a tiger only needs a little over 26 mi/hr to cross the 33 ft moat and clear the 12.5 ft high wall. From the current data that is available, a tiger can attain a maximum speed of 35 mi/hr.

35 mi/hr across the ground != 26 mi/hr at a 55 deg angle. I'd like to see how they propose converted that lateral velocity to the highly inclined one.

This is high school physics done badly. Very poor analysis.

Re:Lateral velocity != jumping velocity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22261382)

You can find out for yourself. I have a slingshot you can borrow if you want...

minimum height (1)

Eharley (214725) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261048)

If you assume the tiger travels at 35 miles/hour, and you solve their equations for the height of the obstacle given that speed, you find that the height of the obstacle would need to be at least 34.5 feet

Was it (1)

Dolly_Llama (267016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261050)

An African or European tiger?

Re:Was it (1)

defnoz (1128875) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261164)

Huh? I-- I don't know that.

Auuuuuuuugh!

Y'know, this really pisses me off (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261078)

California, IIRC, is a "contributory negligence" state, or whatever lawyers call it. Basically, if you're 0.0001% responsible for something, you're wholly responsible, and thus nobody can sue. What a coinkydink the police suspended the investigation as soon as it started to turn against the zoo.

So I can see why it makes sense to blame the victim, if its even a little bit his fault, his family can't sue the zoo for having a tiger enclosure that doesnt meet THE MINIMUM SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS.

Make no mistake about it, that is why this guy died. Taunting the animals? That's what kindergarten kids do every single fucking day. Like it or not, that's what zoos are

So one of the three had alcohol in him, the news spins it as they were all drunk drivers (leap of faith, yeah the one drunk guy MUST have drove there). They find a little pot, OMG, they must have deserved to die. Everyone who smokes a little pot is an evil, evil man.

I wonder how this would play out in the press if it was a kindergarten class that was attacked, or, if the victim was simply white with a nice european sounding name, instead of being one of them thar DRUG USING TEEEEROOORRRREESSTTTSS.

The way this story has played out has really shown me just how inherently racist, ignorant and stupid the left-wing hippy movement really is.

This animals keepers are guilty of manslaughter, just like I would be if I had a pitbull which escaped the yard and mauled a kid, regardless of whether or not the kid mooned the dog and gave it the finger.

The San Francisco Zoo has blood on it's hands. They killed a child on christmas.

Sousa wasn't taunting the animals. (1)

trailerparkcassanova (469342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261080)

Neither were the other two. The tiger didn't jump 33 feet either; it climbed the side of the wall and pulled herself over. Thank you for playing, though.

Re:Sousa wasn't taunting the animals. (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261288)

Care to site your sources for that information? That's well and fine if it's true, but help us differentiate between reality and what you claim it to be.

Weird units (1)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261102)

I cannot be bothered with this metric stuff! Use units I can relate to!

How high was the fence measured in Libraries of Congress?

Wait a dog gone minute! (3, Funny)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261160)

I took engineering physics in college, and from what I recall all formulas only worked on massless, frictionless systems and didn't account for air resistance. Now, how the hell did a physicist crunch these numbers?

tiger weight (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261180)

from wikipedia :

Reaching up to 4 metres (13 feet) in total length and weighing up to 300 kg (660 pounds), tigers are comparable in size to the biggest extinct felids.

Enough already! (0, Offtopic)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261198)

Slashdot itself is one of the original blogs. It would be a very boring place if they did nothing but link to CNet stories and press releases. There are lots of interesting people out there that you've never heard of (and otherwise wouldn't hear of) and they are doing lots of interesting things. So can we kill the 'pimpmyblog' tags already? If you don't like reading blog stories, go start your own news aggregator/discussion forum. Maybe with blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the site...

A high school physics problem, good for an olimpic (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22261262)

The authors formulate a high school physics problem, good, for example for an olimpic competition. Nothing wrong with that, it proves thast something can be done with high school knowledge. However I expected more from a professional paper, which should go further. The tiger is not a material point, but a body with a variable geometry. A more detailed biomechanical description shoud be used, in order to describe the way the jump is initiated, etc. Nevertheless the elementary, high school style analysis of the authors is a good starting point.

However, in its present form the paper is not publishable in a scientific journal, much more should be done.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>