Tiger at Palm Beach Zoo (courtesy cbsnews.com)

There are places to which I’d never go. There are places to which I’d never go unarmed. Inside a cage with tigers qualifies on both counts. And just in case, I wear a gun when I visit a zoo. I know what you’re thinking: the chances of being attacked by an animal at a zoo are less than the chances of being attacked at, say, a playground. Here’s the funny thing: not three weeks ago my daughter and I visited the Palm Beach Zoo and watched a tiger talk by Stacey Konwiser. That would be the same Stacey Konwiser in this news story from cbsnews.com . . .

For three years, Stacey Konwiser pursued her passion at the Palm Beach Zoo – working with the zoo’s 4 Malayan tigers.

On Friday, as she prepared behind the scenes for her routine “Tiger Talk” with the public at 2 p.m., something went terribly wrong with one of the tigers she worked with.

Palm Beach Zoo spokesperson Naki Carter would not say exactly what happened other than the attack occurred in a “night house” where the tigers eat and sleep.

Carter said that immediately after the attack a code red was established.

The tiger was tranquilized, but rescuers had to wait until the drugs took effect on the animal before they could rescue Konwiser.

She was airlifted to a hospital, where she died a short time later.

I fully appreciate the zoo’s reticence to shoot their tigers — assuming the Zoo has firearms on hand to protect the public — and rescue the keeper in a more timely perhaps even life-saving fashion. I suspect that Ms. Konwiser would’ve been appalled at the idea of an armed rescue. She probably would have agreed with Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill who declared “This is not the tiger’s fault. For a tiger to behave this way – it’s a tiger being a tiger.”

Yes, well, I’m glad I wasn’t there at the time of the attack. Can you imagine the sh*tstorm if I or another concealed carrier had fired a gun to save the keeper and killed a tiger or two? Times two if Ms. Konwiser had died anyway. The only person who’d be happy with that turn of events would be the dentist who shot and killed Cecil the Lion; he’d be grateful that someone finally took the heat for “murdering” an “innocent” animal.

Ms. Konwiser should have been armed when within striking distance of the tigers. That said, it’s easy to understand why she wasn’t. In any case, our condolences to Ms. Konwiser’s family, friends and colleagues. Stay armed, my friends. And think very carefully before intervening to save innocent life. But don’t take too long. When seconds count, seconds count.

98 Responses to Palm Beach Zoo Tiger Kills Keeper: It Should Have Been a Defensive Gun Use

  1. If someone would have shot Tigger, it would have been worse then Cecil the Lion. Besides…
    The wonderful thing about Tiggers
    Theyre bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
    Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!

    • Yes and no…… Heres the weird stuff that happens in San Francisco when a tiger is in killing mode and subsequently gets shot and killed (by the police).

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_Zoo_tiger_attacks?wprov=sfla1

      FYI – the cops had to threaten the zoo employees to get in to the zoo while the other victims were still getting attacked by the tiger. Also, i had a friend who went to the zoo that day and saw the idiots messing with the animals. She said that the tiger passed by and ignored dozens of other visitors. It singled out and hunted down the idiots. Strait up vendetta.

      ….. “In their nature” my ass…. If the zoo people actually believed that crock , then they wouldn’t lock themselves in a room full of tigers.

      • Those criminals were definitely taunting the tiger, but to be fair the tigers at the SF zoo were contained by little more than the honor system. Sure they pinky swore not to leave their enclosure, but that was before those idiots “poked the bear.”

        We were actually planning on going to the Palm Beach Zoo that very day! As it worked out we spent an extra day in Naples instead and then the zoo got pushed back further due to being closed all weekend after this incident. Crazy stuff. We were also living in SF during that tiger attack. Maybe we’re bad tiger luck…

  2. Of course most people do not realize how many North African Wildcats and Tibetan Wolves we have in this country.

    • I carry a .45. Mostly. In this case, I’d want a shotgun with rifled slugs. Lots of rifled slugs.

      • If you’re limited to handguns I’d want at least a .44 magnum, but if you’re limiting yourself to a handgun you’d carry concealed on a trip to the zoo I’ll stick with my .357 magnum with 158gr. Double Taps. You’re going to need the extra penetration.

        12ga. is nice but I always get the feeling someone will notice me walking all stiff legged when carrying concealed.

      • Howdah pistol anyone?

        This was their intended purpose, when the mean scratchy bitey thing came to kill you, you could blast them.

        I would totally OC a Howdah pistol, assuming I could OC and owned one.

        • I asked the other day, in another “caliber war” thread, what would happen if a ginger (red-head) were shot with a .45?

        • Again yes and no on the .40….. The San Francisco cops that killed that tiger with their .40’s got lucky. The rounds were bouncing off the tiger and one lucky golden bb found its mark……lots of bullets and statistical inevitability put that tiger down… Not the .40 per say….. +1 for the .44…. Its what i wear to the zoo.

        • They were penetrating, but a handful of shots to the body didn’t stop it. Sounded like it was slowing down quite a bit, though, before the shot to the skull that killed it outright. From the accounts, it also sounded like they were good shooters placing accurate shots basically the whole time.

  3. Two things come to mind.

    1. I bet a tiger attack from close range happens faster than any zookeeper can draw and fire.

    2. What handgun can you conveniently carry that can stop a tiger faster than a tiger can finish pouncing on you?

      • Yeah in the SF zoo attack the tiger was on and off the first victim in a few seconds and still killed the heck out of him. He had major blunt force trauma to multiple areas, many punctures and scratches to head, neck and chest, various skull and spinal fractures, and a cut to his jugular vein. I think defending yourself from an animal like that means killing it instantly before it even touches you. They say tigers are, what, like 8 times stronger than a human pound-for-pound? That’s a lot of strength when you’re talking about 500+++ lb animals haha

    • I reckon this is one of those “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” deals. A snub-nosed S&W .500 revolver — carried OWB — would at least sting a bit. Of course, the zoo probably wouldn’t want the public to see a gun – a gun! – on its keepers.

      • Unless these cats were bred in captivity I’m willing to bet that whoever captured them for the zoo went about his business heavily armed. Should have passed that bit of tech on to the zookeepers.

      • Oh god, I don’t even want to imagine what it would be like to shoot a .500 snubbie when you can’t square up and get a proper grip. I’d still rather have the recoil shatter my wrist than be killed by a tiger, but still, yikes….

    • 1) Agreed. Almost nobody is that fast.
      2) My 4″ S&W 29 (44 mag). Barely small enough to ccw, and definitely enough for anything on this continent.

      • Tigers aren’t from on this continent. The 44 mag is a powerful cartridge but tigers are top of the food chain predators. I would not want to face one without a shotgun or powerful rifle at close distance.

    • Maybe one of those PTR 91 pistols? 20 rounds of .308, semi auto. Load her up with the meanest .308 you can find. But yes, concealment would be hard…

    • Cats are so fast you could have the sights on them, finger on trigger, and they could still smack the gun out of your hand AND rip your face off before you could squeeze. At that distance for sure. IMHO. That said, better armed than not! You never know how things will pan out…

  4. This is what happens when you don’t have a healthy fear of large wild animals. They can and will kill you for no apparent reason, because they are animals.

    Just like my parents little asshole Siamese cat. It will come up to you wanting to be pet. You pet it for a few seconds and then it goes into shred-o-matic mode. Its not playing either. I’ve even had it walk up behind me while sitting on the couch and smack me in the eye from behind my head. Large animals can be just as unpredictable, but at least a stupid Siamese cat can’t kill you.

    • Agreed. Cats are vicious. I saw the neighbor’s cat trying to catch a rabbit the other day, and it seems to always emerge from the bushes with some small animal in its mouth.

      I sincerely believe that house cats would try to kill humans if they were big enough.

      • “If cats looked like frogs we’d realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That’s what people remember.” – Terry Pratchett

      • Last yeat, the neighbor’s cat caught up with a pair of nesting doves which had taken up residence in a small fruit treebin our frint yard. In the morning, there were feathere and stray bones scattered across the lawn. The carnage of the debris field spanned a good ten feet. It was a whole CSI Houston scene. All that was missing was the yellow police tape.

      • Cats aren’t the only animals like that. Dogs will kill for sport too. Sometimes a pet cat or dog will even kill a small animal than bring it to you, thinking you will be proud. Dolphins also will kill for sport, including the killing of baby dolphins (the idea of dolphins being the heavenly, angelic creatures of the sea while sharks are the evil of the sea is way oversimplified—dolphins also will kill sharks too; killer whales are actually a member of the dolphin family).

        • Sometimes a pet cat or dog will even kill a small animal than bring it to you, thinking you will be proud.
          Sometimes the animal that they killed is close to the same size as they are.

        • Completely off topic, but I saw a docu a while back that showed how some orca pods have learned how to kill sharks super-easy by tipping them over on their back, which stuns the shark. Only some pods have learned this maneuver and they pass it on to their offspring, completely learned, not instinctual.

    • The next time a cat stares at you, understand that it’s probably thinking “if I were bigger, I’d kill you”.

  5. Didn’t need to be a shooting. There is no reason to be in the cage like that to begin with. Human stupidity doesn’t need “saving” by a gun toter.

    • There are many, many times when humans are in places where they shouldn’t be. Our moral obligation to protect innocent life doesn’t end where someone else’s stupidity begins. IMHO.

      • I would agree, except, in this case, the woman purposely put herself into a dangerous situation, with a caged, large predator, so an attack is to be anticipated…not so innocent. Helmet, protective armor, etc reasonable. I am sorry she was killed, but I don’t like the idea of these large animals being caged for our fun…same goes for those FL killer whales. But, alas, as population increases, there will soon be nowhere for these critters to live.

    • “There is no reason to be in the cage like that to begin with.”

      The tiger sh!t really starts to stack up if you don’t shovel it out once in a while…

      • I think he may have meant the TIGER didn’t need to be in a cage like that…

        Or, at least that’s another way to look at it.

        • Would I have shot the tiger? Of course. Just don’t have expectations of me or someone like me saving you from yourself while being a “tiger whisperer”. Yes tiger shit gets built up so does my chicken coop but I block them off while I work on it. I don’t pretend to have a relationship while cleaning.
          The only whisper being heard now is the high protein tiger fart.

  6. Sheesh, what a peanut gallery– don’t know squat about history or dangerous game.

    The Howdah pistol is the traditional “get this tiger off of me” gun. Basically, a 12-gauge pistol.

  7. Robert, you stretched this one past the breaking point. A firearm, probably a handgun, cannot shut down a big cat quickly enough to save its victim. Provided it works on tigers, pepper spray would be a better choice to keep the animal at bay until the victim can exit the cage. The real answer is not to enter the cage unless the tiger has been tranquilized.

    Zoo tigers are still wild animals, not house pets. In my city, a dingbat wandered off from an after-hours event at the zoo and reached into a tiger’s cage to pet it. Instead of purring in appreciation, the cat bit her. Had the dingbat gotten into the cage, I’m sure she would be dead, too. Ms Konwiser had the education and experience to know better than to make herself vulnerable to an attack. She deserves a Darwin award.

    • I’m always amazed when The People of the Gun say a gun wouldn’t do any good in a life-or-death situation. Whether you’re facing a band of AK-wielding terrorists in a concert hall, a gigantic pissed-off tiger in a cage or a squad of well-armed Nazis come to send you and yours to the ovens, it’s better to have a gun than not. It may not be any damn good. But it’s better than nothing.

      That’s it. That’s all I’ve got.

      • From my understanding, hits to the CNS shuts down well, any living creature. While not the best option, a handgun could effectively put down a tiger with a hit to the spine or brain stem, right?

      • “It may not be any damn good. But it’s better than nothing.”

        Yeah, I agree. It’s astounding the misunderstandings people have about DGU’s and wound ballistics in general.

        Any animal, human or not, WILL respond to being shot. It may be a slight response, or it may be more … permanent. But, insult to the physical body causes a response.

        And here’s the dirty little secret: the actual response in a single real-world event cannot be predicted. There is no “it will” when it comes to shooting a living thing. Experienced hunters know this from…experience.

        That magic caliber/bullet/technique that has worked 99 times in the past may ‘fail’ the next time…the one time you “Really Needed It.” Or, that little pipsqueak .22 that no one would DREAM could drop {$ANIMAL} in a single shot could do just that.

        Further, there’s “shoot to stop the threat” as in “keep shooting until the threat is stopped.” So, maybe a handgun won’t stop a tiger, but MAYBE repeated shots will convince the tiger that doing something else is preferable to getting blasted over and over again.

        Why not at least have the CHANCE?

        So, it’s funny (not ha ha) that so many supposed POTG lie back on the claim ‘No Point…it won’t work.’

        Seriously, between stuff like this and a few other points that come up often enough around here, I gotta wonder if some POTG are really POTG or just “casual” gun owners while it’s hip and in fashion to be so.

      • Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. I just never, ever want to be in any situation where the last thought I have is “Shit! I wish I had a gun!”

        A firearm on the body, hell even in the hand, is no magic wand. It cannot and will not prevent everything. But damn, when I’m facing a deadly threat from any where, any thing, any one, I damn sure want to have even that 1% chance to change the outcome.

      • At the risk of sounding callous and cold I am going to be honest. Before I do anything with a gun in a public place or in defense of someone else’s life I must consider how this will effect my life. My wife and kids need me. Shooting the tiger would have been viewed as innapropriate and more than likely earned me some jail time. That puts my family at risk because I had to play hero for someone I don’t care about at all. As for facing armed bands of AK wielding rebellion I am not that stupid either. I spent time in combat and seen the results of being outgunned. No thanks, not me. Once again my family needs me.

        The CCP is like a fire extinguisher. It is designed and planned to be used to get you out of a tight spot. A fire extinguisher does not make you a fire fighter anymore than a handgun would make you a gun fighter. Sure I would be willing to face off with an armed person if I knew the whole story. I am not facing off with multiple armed people especially if they have rifles when I don’t have to. I am also not shooting a tiger because someone was dumb enough to play/work with them. Not like he tiger was running lose praying on kids at the playground. That is a trip to jail and a free pass to the former gun owner banquet. I am not doing that for someone who I could not care less if they are dead. You have to be very careful what you are about to do with your weapon is going to change everything.

        • I agree with your main points. As a single father whose child doesn’t have a plan B, I am extremely reluctant to go to the aid of someone else, lest I leave my own child without a suitable caregiver. Especially when you consider the fact that Americans have the right to keep and bear arms. Why should I use my right and put myself in harm’s way when they could have used theirs?

          Because that’s the way I’m wired. I can’t stand to watch people suffer. It’s not my nature to walk away from that when I could do something to help.

          I can certainly imagine a scenario where I would leave an innocent party or parties to cruel fate, but so far, that’s not the way I’ve rolled. I hope this good samaritan shtick is never truly put to the test. If it is, I’ll report back.

        • “Shooting the tiger would have been viewed as innapropriate and more than likely earned me some jail time.”

          Highly doubtful, that zoo is in Florida, and the person with the gun was trying to stop a lethal attack with equal or better force.

      • This sad incident reminded me of a book I happened on years ago. Do a search
        of “Harry Wolhutter” . “Memories of a Game Ranger” is his autobiography and recounts how he survived a lion attack in 1903 while working Kruger Park.. Don’t want to spoil it but he lived the lion did not and he only had a knife after the lion knocked him off his horse. Call him SIR.

      • This sad incident reminded me of a book I happened on years ago. Do a search
        of “Harry Wolhutter” . “Memories of a Game Ranger” is his autobiography and recounts how he survived a lion attack in 1903 while working Kruger Park.. Don’t want to spoil it be he lived the lion did not and he only had a knife after the lion knocked him off his horse. Call him SIR.

      • I’m always amazed when a gun-blogger talks up himself about how valiantly he would defend thy lady with his pistol. Get real. You would’ve grabbed your kid and ran had you witnessed that. Your practically drooling over the thought of yourself being the hero here. You’re becoming a parody.

    • I forget which zoo it was and where, but there was one guy who decided to sneak in and go for a swim in the polar bear tank at night. The polar bears killed him.

  8. If I’m ever being mauled by a tiger please feel free to dump a mag of .380 (or .22 for that matter) into it’s chest on my behalf. As far as I know tiger are not bullet proof and their heart and lungs work like any other.

    • I’m reminded of the scene in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” where Butch is challenged to a duel and says to Sundance, “Look, I don’t want to be a sore loser, but if I’m dead… kill him.”

  9. a PATRON was killed a few years back at the San Francisco zoo when a tiger escaped.

    Visited the phoenix zoo here yesterday. clearly displayed NO FIREARMS sign though i still CC. would be interesting to see if the DA would bother putting me in jail if i were forced to use my “illegally carried firearm” to stop an escaped tiger from eating one of my kids.

    • That patron and his buddies were complicit in their own tragedy. And the SF zoo, of all places, had guns. They were locked in an admin office and by the time whoever had the key could be found the sfpd had already done the tiger.

      We also had an elephant kill a handler at the oakland zoo.

    • Sure they would prosecute you…and

      (1) You’d be vilified online as the soulless ammosexual that took the life of the innocent, beautiful creature

      (2) They’d say your kid deserved to be eaten by the tiger with you being a “gun owner” and all

      (3) See, gun carriers are not “law abiding” as you would have been breaking the law to carry there…

      (4) You could have missed the tiger and hit your own kid (and a longer list of “could haves”)

      (5) Guns icky, no other ‘explanation’ needed

  10. Notice also that in addition to the horrible death of a human being that the animal was not punished in a meaningful way. The tiger of course had and has no moral understanding. The tiger thus had rights (to life and due process) that a human predator would not in the same case. It couldn’t possibly be that the economic value of the tiger to the zoo is greater than a human female’s intrinsic value, could it? Human life is more precious to us humans than any animal’s life, isn’t it?

    • In principle, I agree. In practice, however, my dogs are worth more to me than the life of any person who is not family or my closest friends (which are basically family). This is absolutely true for me if my dogs were being attacked or threatened by another person. On the other hand, as a fairly principled person, if one of my dogs attacked someone else unprovoked, I’d consider it my duty to put my own dog down as violently as necessary to protect that other person.

      Some moron coming off the street and starting to kick around one of my dogs would elicit the exact same response from me as if they were doing that to one of my kids. And I am completely comfortable with this.

    • The tiger is not being punished… I got an image of a dude going back into the tiger cage with a rolled up newspaper swatting the cat on the nose saying bad kitty.

    • “Human life is more precious to us humans than any animal’s life, isn’t it?”

      No. In the abstract, human life is emphatically and unquestionably not more precious to me than any animal’s life.

      I’d protect my dogs’ lives with my own. In a life-or-death situation, I’d rescue them before my own blood. No questions asked. You? Some other random person reading this blog/walking down the street/getting lunch and food poisoning at Chipotle/whatever? I don’t know that person. Their life is worth nothing-literally, emphatically, nothing-to me. Why on god’s green earth would it be worth anything?

      And no, I see no point in “punishing” the tiger. You can’t sit him down and explain to him why we’d prefer that he didn’t kill people; he’s not going to understand what you’re doing to him or why. Punishment depends on the “punishee” having an understanding of what they did that was wrong, and why it was wrong. In the absence of that, it’s just revenge.

      If the tiger is provably unsafe (and no, the simple fact that a woman is dead does not prove that), put him to sleep. Otherwise, leave him be. No good will come from killing him now.

      • Who taught you the value of human life, a communist apparatchik? Good Lord, go back to school and study. Human life is worth more than a tigers. I value and hope that we can keep tigers in the wild, they are amazing predators, still to state what you did is simply ridiculous.

        • You may want to re-read what I said; I did not say that the tiger’s life was more valuable than the zookeeper’s, nor did I say that I would have taken issue with the victim killing the tiger in defense of her own life if the circumstances had turned out that way.

          What I said was that I do not believe that killing it after the fact, and in the absence of definitive evidence that its attack is representative of an abnormally aggressive and dangerous pattern of behavior rather than a one-time event that could have been enabled or even incited by human error is just or morally acceptable.

          To be perfectly clear, I believe that at the time of the incident, the zookeeper had the right to defend her life by any means necessary, no matter how vicious or how unpleasant the outcome would have been for the cat. I would seriously question both the sanity and judgement of a 3rd party choosing to intervene on the zookeeper’s behalf, but I would not necessarily condemn such an action. However, my position is absolutely not derived from a belief in the sanctity of human life.

          Rather, my position on this matter is based on two beliefs:
          -Any organism’s life is the sole property of that organism
          -Any organism may, at its discretion, defend any of its property, from any threat, by any means necessary and to whatever extent is required to permanently eliminate that threat.

          The “value” of life need not enter the equation-which is just as well, because life-human or otherwise-has no innate, objective value. This is indisputable. It is not possible to assign value to life without putting it into the necessarily subjective context of your own value system and societal constructs.

          Obviously, I assign different subjective values than you do. Or, at the very least, than you’re willing to publicly admit to. Here’s a thought experiment. Someone walks up to you, out of the blue. “Siorus is dying, but you have (x). If you’ll just give us (x) we can save him!”

          You don’t know me, you’ve never met me. I’m just some random person. What are you willing to give them? Your life? Your house? Your spouse? A decade’s pay? The contents of your wallet? An hour of your time? A revolver that’s been handed down in your family for three generations? Some pocket lint? A framed 2x4ft one-off oil portrait of Dianne Feinstein, complete with her autograph?

          Imagine you’ve got some tangible thing that is the difference between life and death for someone else. How valuable does that item have to be to you before you’ll say “no, I’m sorry, I can’t help.”

          Would it matter if I was one of your heros? What about if I was that professor you really, really hated? That one awful ex that just absolutely screwed you over? Your best friend? Someone that you were sexually attracted to? What if, in return for your help, I took over your job for the next 5 years so you could take an extended vacation?

          Think about it. I have.

          At any rate, my ethics are my own; they pull bits and pieces from everything from the bible to Marx to Rand. They were not derived overnight, nor were they constructed in a vacuum. I have simply evaluated the same data available to everyone else and reached a conclusion that is different from that reached by the majority.

          I throw parts of my philsosophy of life out there like this from time to time; it allows me to do my own testing, evaluation and refinement while also putting it under the scrutiny of people that disagree with me, which can be helpful for rooting out logical holes and inconsistencies that I may have otherwise overlooked.

          With respect to your assertion that “(a) human life is worth more than a tiger’s,” I invite you to submit objective proof to back that up.

          And as for how I justify saving my dogs before my girlfriend, my siblings, or even myself in a disaster-say the house is on fire and everyone is trapped or whatever-when I’ve just stated that I don’t believe that any life is inherently valuable, it’s quite simple, really: “Life isn’t fair” is a concept that humans can (or perhaps should) logically grasp. There is no evidence that dogs can do the same.

          I can look someone in the eye and tell them “there’s not enough time to save everyone, and today was just not your day.” They may die angry, they may die scared, they may die cursing the world and everything in it, but they will die understanding what was going on and why.

          The dogs, on the other hand, have a genetically-driven, instinctive understanding (unless it has been abused out of them) that their master is good and perfect and will always, always take care of them. It’s absolute trust and faith on a level that human beings are-frankly-incapable of and in this situation, the dogs would die in abject terror, likely either waiting expectantly for me to save them or wondering why I hadn’t come for them yet. I am categorically unwilling to be responsible for violating that trust, cost in human lives be damned.

  11. And at the Houston Zoo, they tried to ban (illegally) licensed carry within the zoo. Tell me again, how many people have ever been killed at a zoo by lawful carriers, compared to the number killed by tigers?

  12. “…assuming the Zoo has firearms on hand to protect the public…”

    Yeah. They don’t. When a gorilla got out at the Dallas Zoo a few years ago, he ran wild until the police arrived and shot him – after he had horribly injured a small child.

  13. All the arm-chair quarterbacking and second-guessing kind of irritates me. When you work with large animals, it’s just the nature of the job that sometimes things can go very wrong, very quickly. I work with cattle and horses, and while they’re not predators, they can react suddenly out of fear or aggression and if you’re in their path (or on their back) or are the target of their aggression, you can end up dead. Simple as that. Faster than you can draw, faster than you can dodge. It doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. Experienced cattlemen and horsemen are killed every year.

    Konwiser probably didn’t do anything wrong. She was probably doing something she’d done many times before. The story doesn’t even attempt to speculate on the cause of the incident, which is responsible, because little is known yet. There’s simply no way that “tiger handler” can ever be a “safe” job. She died doing what she loved. There are worse ways to go. God bless her, and condolences to her husband and family.

    This was a poor choice for the “should have been a defensive gun use” series.

    • Horses are much stronger and heavier than most realize.
      Horses put up with our crap because they are good natured, but if they really wanted to escape or be violent, the results might be surprising.

      • Yup. If a horse suddenly decided it wanted you dead, you’d be dead. Even a yearling colt can toss an adult human around like a rag doll. A full grown horse is a nigh-unstoppable force compared to mere human strength. Likewise a full-grown cow, steer or, especially, bull.

  14. People like this woman who know and love these animals fully understand the dangers that working with them entail. They understand that they are putting themselves at risk. Considering the numbers of animals that have escaped at zoos though, why the hell would the zoo want the people there disarmed?

  15. It’s a wild tiger. It ain’t Siegfried and Roy. I doubt a gun would have save her as big cats are quick. Condolences to the family…

  16. I see no realistic chance to stop them white any handgun caliber (only revolver cadriges over 44 magnum)

    Better i rent an liger 4 all zoo visiteds as bodyguard ^^

  17. If your working with a top predator like a tiger one miscalculation can cost you your life. We had a lady in Colorado here a couple years back have half her arm pulled off by a tiger that reached through the cage with one paw out at the wild animal park on the plains.
    It somewhat reminds me of the guy who was up in Alaska without a gun talking to and treating the local grizzlies like they were no more dangerous than a herd of deer. Ended up a real bad decision for him and his girlfriend.

  18. Possibly the best information on how to terminate a tiger comes from the books by Colonel Jim Corbett, the late famed maneater hunter. Corbett used a variety of arms, from a 7×57 Rigby to a shotgun with slugs (mainly on leopard), but he generally used a double barreled .450 Express rifle. And he generally hunted alone, on foot, in the maneater’s territory.

    He had an intimate understanding of tiger behavior. He knew tigers attack from behind, upwind, so the direction of the wind was crucial to his progress. He slowly moved past large boulders, and often found a tiger waiting there to do him in. Once he stopped, with two quail eggs in one hand, and slowly moved his rifle around with the other until he was able to shoot the critter between the eyes. Any sudden movement will launch an attack.

    Captive tigers will become quite resentful of any intrusion into their personal space, and this is aggravated by the stress of other tigers in close proximity. Tigers, especially males, are usually solitary. They are highly strung animals, and the strain of captivity means their conduct can be unpredictable at times. Unless there is an especially close bond with their keeper (which must be lifelong), being in touching distance can be dangerous.

    A tiger in the wild will not regard humans as food. But once they do, we are just another item on the menu. It would a crime if they disappeared forever.

  19. Guard from hercules ?? I have more as one milk shacke bottles.
    Kill me no more milk shacks thats law and order extreme ^^

  20. Wouldn’t be nice if instead of hearing “This is not the tiger’s fault. For a tiger to behave this way – it’s a tiger being a tiger.” that we heard from Liberals and the anti’s “This death is not the law-abiding gun owners’s fault. For a thug to behave this way and get shot– it’s the consequences for a violence-prone thug being a violence prone.”

  21. One of my favorite movies is the Ghost and the Darkness. For those who don’t know these two male Lions terrorized workers in the British East Africa around the turn of the century. It cost the lives of several big game hunters to bring them down.

    The two lions can be seen at the Field Museum in Chicago. You will have to expose yourself to a much greater threat than lions and tigers to see them.

      • Incorrect sir they were males with no mains.

        The two lions were in fact the mane less male lion’s of Africa, meaning that they did not have the typical mass of mane that adorns mature male lions. Because of this genetic difference the two lions were possibly not accepted by a pride of their own. As the female lionesses do the hunting, it is quite possible as they got older they were unable to hunt big prey and so turned to the easiest (but most dangerous) prey they could find, humans.
        Note: A mane less man-eating male was killed in 1991 in Mfuwe, Africa. Bruce Patterson, of the Field Museum, Chicago, has published a paper about possible connections between the condition and their man-eating habits.”

        I suppose you could say cross dressing is not chic in the lion culture as of yet.

  22. I think you might be better off being eaten by a tiger than facing the wraith of the “publik” if you shot one in self defense….

  23. Next time that you go to the zoo, retire the 45 and grab the serbu super shorty. IWB holster may be a little hard to find though.

  24. all of this speculation about which caliber handgun has the best chance of whacking a tiger before it whacks you is off the mark.

    rule number 1 of home defense: don’t open the door to strangers.

    similarly, rule number 1 of tiger defense: don’t get in the cage with tigers.

  25. I don’t know about US pistol cartridges being used on a very large and powerful tiger species. All I can say is , I was watching some youtube videos and came across some Indonesian video about a group of native park officers hunting down a Huge man eating Bengal tiger. It was very graphic. The Native park ranger types were armed with large British double barrel Safari rifles with heavy l400 500gr bullets. They cornered it, and one ranger shot it once with the have safari rifle from about 25-30ft away at a downward angle. The shot stuck the tiger in the left shoulder, overpentrating, and knocked the tiger to the ground. It immediately got to it’s feet, and it was extremely pissed off… Where the ranger promptly shot it a second time in its midsection, and knocked it to the ground for the last time. It thrashed for a few minutes and then expired…No…I would want to face a tiger of any kind…Unless it’s behind a solid armored barrier…..

  26. “Ms. Konwiser should have been armed when within striking distance of the tigers.” Disagree. This was not a gun problem (or lack thereof), this was a policy problem. Or a habitat problem. Or something else. Guns can and should be in the tool box, though. I guess we definitely agree there.

    If you put yourself in the power of a tiger you need a plan. Sounds like they lacked one. Or at least an effective one. Sad. I have a first cousin once removed who is a marine biologist. She took a nasty bite to the knee from a grumpy sea lion. Doesn’t take much. Just one bad day for the animal to make a disproportionately bad day for you.

    Stay safe out there, people.

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