Letter: Naming blameless tiger who killed zookeeper serves no one

hatiYour lead story in the April 20 paper featured a photo of the tiger that you suspect killed a zookeeper, along with his name and life history (“Evidence points to stud tiger Hati as Palm Beach Zoo keeper’s killer”). Your article also says, “Zoo officials appealed to all media sources to refrain from naming the tiger” for the safety of the animal.

Yet you couldn’t resist. What do you think can be gained by revealing the identity? The zoo stated that they have received threats against the unnamed tiger.

As tragic as Stacey Konwiser’s death is, it should come as no surprise. It’s like a race car driver dying in a 200-mph crash, or a base jumper dying when his parachute does not deploy. Those are heartbreaking events, but not entirely unexpected.

Everybody knows that tigers are wild animals, especially zookeepers like Stacey who make it their life work. She knew the inherent danger of the job and chose to do it. The tiger, on the other hand, had no choice in the matter. He did not choose to be born and raised in captivity and was simply behaving the way his DNA tells him to.

Again, I do find Stacey’s death horribly tragic, and my heart goes out to her family. She loved these animals and understood them better than anybody.

The 911 caller’s behavior certainly raises eyebrows, and it seems suspicious that they were trying to cover something up from the onset. There is certainly fault to be found somewhere, but it is not the tiger’s.


Editor’s note:

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