One San Francisco zoo patron remembers an incident from the tiger enclosure in 1997. SFGate reports:
Marian Roth-Cramer recalled the day she and her son, who was 4 or 5, visited the tiger exhibit in 1997.
"My son had his hands on the metal bar," said the San Francisco woman, a children's dance and family programs coordinator at a branch of the YMCA. "All of a sudden, I saw the tiger leap over the moat, put a paw on the dirt (and hang on). I screamed and grabbed my son." The animal slid away. She turned to a zookeeper and asked if he'd seen what she had. His reply: "She always does that. She hates my guts."
She wrote a letter to David Anderson, the zoo director at the time, about the incident and canceled her membership. She said she never got a reply. Mollinedo, who took over in early 2004, said that he asked staff members after Tuesday's attack whether any big cat had ever jumped the moat or escaped the grotto, and no one could recall anything like that happening.