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Two Indian Americans mauled by zoo tiger

The culprit in the freak incident, a 350-pound Siberian tiger named Tatiana, had to be shot dead by cops.

india Updated: Dec 29, 2007 19:44 IST

Two Indian American brothers were mauled by a tiger at the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day in an attack that killed another man.

Brothers Amritpal 'Paul' Dhaliwal, 19, and Kulbir Dhaliwal, 23, were being treated for severe bite and claw wounds at the San Francisco General Hospital.

Carl Sousa, Jr, 17, the third victim of the attack, died.

The culprit in the Tuesday's freak incident, a 350-pound Siberian tiger named Tatiana, had to be shot to death by the police.

Tatiana had evidently escaped its enclosure by leaping or climbing the walls, which, a zoo expert now says, were scaleable.

Tatiana was in the news around this time last year too, when it attacked the zoo keeper during public feeding.

The police said Kulbir was the rampaging animal's first victim. As the tiger clawed and bit him, his younger brother and Sousa yelled to scare it off him. The big cat then went for Sousa, slashing his neck as the brothers ran to a zoo cafe for help.

After killing Sousa, the tiger followed the trail of blood left by Kulbir about 300 yards to the cafe, where it mauled both him and Amritpal.

The three boys had gone to the zoo together, which has remained shuttered since the incident.

The two boys' are due to be discharged from the hospital over the weekend.

Newspaper reports say the Dhaliwal brothers have been hostile to police interviewers, at first refusing to identify themselves or give an account of the incident.

The reason for their reticence may have been that they were charged in Sept with misdemeanour, public intoxication and resisting a police officer after they were arrested a short distance from their home, according to court documents.