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U.S. Soldier Kills Tiger in Baghdad Zoo

September 21, 2003|From Times Wire Services

BAGHDAD — A U.S. soldier shot dead a rare Bengal tiger at the Baghdad Zoo after the animal injured another soldier who was trying to feed it through the cage bars, the zoo's manager said Saturday.

Adil Salman Mousa said a group of U.S. soldiers came to the zoo Thursday night after it closed.

"Someone was trying to feed the tigers," he said. "The tiger bit his finger off and clawed his arm. So his colleague took a gun and shot the tiger."

A zoo security guard, Zuhair Abdul Majeed, said the soldiers had been drinking beer when they entered the complex. "He was drunk," Abdul Majeed said of the bitten soldier.

A U.S. military spokesman confirmed that a member of the coalition forces had shot and killed a tiger but gave no details.

Mousa said U.S. officials came to see him Friday to discuss the incident. The tiger was one of two in the zoo.

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