SFGate reports that actual measurements have shown the tiger enclosure at San Francisco zoo to be 12 feet high instead of the reputed 20.
Earlier this week, zoo officials said the moat's wall was at least 20 feet tall. Today, they said it was little over 12 feet. Since the investigation began Tuesday, officials have given at least five different measurements for the enclosure, which is surrounded by a moat, two walls on either side of the moat, a small patch of grass and then another waist-high fence. Experts say that the depth of the moat and height of the walls could have a large impact on the animal's ability to escape the enclosure.
If the wall's been just 12 feet tall then all these years those stripey big cats have simply been humoring the patrons. They've stayed in their enclosures essentially of their own free will. Now it's fashionable to say that cats are miserable in captivity. But a lot of smaller cats I know are perfectly happy to eat and sleep the days away while their human slaves dish up the grub. Maybe tigers have been happy with the deal all along.
But as everyone who's seen cats knows, there are some days when you do something they don't like, such as accidentally step on their tails, and then the transformation from the placid bundle of fluff into a tornado is something to behold.
Maybe tigers are the same way.