After a tiger at the San Francisco Zoo killed a visitor and mauled two others, Richmonders say they are more keenly aware of local tiger security since realizing that there’s actually a zoo in the area.
“I heard about the attack in California, but figured something like that could never happen here,” city resident William Strickland said. “Then I saw the article in the paper about the Metro Richmond Zoo’s measures in tiger security and I’m like, ‘Holy shit – there’s a zoo in Richmond?'”
You can bet your ass there is.
Since the Christmas Day assault in San Francisco left a young boy dead and two others severely injured, Richmond residents never bothered to ask whether such a thing could happen here – until they learned that such a thing could, indeed.
Located in western Chesterfield County, the Metro Richmond Zoo has more than 800 animals including birds, antelopes and a herd of giraffe. In addition, there are – get this – three lions, bears, a leopard and two – count it, two – fucking tigers.
“Tigers. In Richmond – Richmond,” Strickland said. “Un-fucking-believable.”
Travis Akers, the city zoo’s general manager, said zoo officials have reviewed safety procedures and made sure that the tiger fences are properly maintained, “because, since Richmond actually has a zoo, the possibilities of an attack are real, however minor – though we can easily make the threat major.
“Tigers are so sweet,” he added.
Watching TV news coverage of the mauling, some local citizens caught a glimpse of four-person gondola rides at the San Francisco Zoo – prompting those here to wonder if the Metro Richmond Zoo had one, too.
Indeed, it does. It sure-as-shit does. Frigging spectacular.
“They call it Safari Sky Ride, saw it on the Web site,” Chesterfield resident Kathryn Jamison said, noting she plans to throw M&Ms at walking visitors below from up high. “We’re going next weekend.”
Investigators in California are also looking into the possibility that some of the victims may have been taunting the cat prior to the attack. After learning this detail – and the fact that, as certain as the grass is green, death and taxes that Richmond has its own fucking zoo – residents said they too hope to provoke the Bengal tigers at the city’s animal habitat.
“I totally plan to give Rajah [the tiger] a piece of raw meat,” said Tim Mudd, who with his mother last year attempted – unsuccessfully – to feed a black bear an apple at Maymont.