SF Statue Honors Killer Zoo Tiger

'I felt sorry for the sordid and needless way she died,' man says of Tatiana
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2008 6:23 PM CST
In this image from TV, paramedics arrive at San Francisco General Hospital with one of the victims of a tiger attack, Dec. 25, 2007, in San Francisco.    (KGO-TV)
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(Newser) – A San Francisco artist has commemorated the tiger who fatally mauled a teenager at the city’s zoo last Christmas with a statue, the Chronicle reports. “I wanted to do something to commemorate the life and death of this beautiful creature,” Jon Engdahl, 48, said of Tatiana, who was killed by police after leaping from her enclosure and attacking three zoo visitors.

“This was a labor of love,” Engdahl said. “I identified with this beautiful animal. I felt sorry for the sordid and needless way she died.” Some witnesses say the teens were taunting the tiger before it attacked. Engdahl said he didn’t get permission from the city before placing the small sculpture along a stairway leading to Coit Tower, and will remove it if asked: “But I don’t think anyone will care.”