January 18, 2008 / 9:26 PM / 12 years ago

Survivor told of taunting in tiger attack: report

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A survivor of last month’s tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo told the father of a teen-ager killed in the incident that they waved and yelled at the animal just before it struck, a newspaper reported on Friday.

Paul Dhaliwal, 19, said he, his brother Kulbir, 23, and friend Carlos Sousa, 17, stood atop a railing in front of the tiger exhibit while taunting the animal, the San Francisco Chronicle said, citing a police document filed in court.

The Dhaliwals have not described the event publicly, but police have been investigating whether the Christmas Day attack was provoked by taunting.

The female Siberian tiger scaled a 12-1/2-foot (3.8-metre) wall to attack them. She mauled the Dhaliwal brothers and killed Sousa before police shot her to death.

The document was an affidavit filed by police to request a warrant to search Kulbir Dhaliwal’s car, the Chronicle said. During their search, they found marijuana and a partially filled bottle of vodka, it said.

Police have said they interviewed the two brothers, but the affidavit contained only information about what Sousa’s father said he was told, the Chronicle said.

A police spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Jim Christie; editing by Jeff Franks and Xavier Briand

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