I watched a National Geographic show about captive big cats last night. They looked at what happened in San Francisco last year and showed how they have changed the enclosure. They tried to get a trained tiger to make either of the jumps she would have had to make with the gentle coaxing of thrown meat and he wouldn't attempt a jump close to either one that she would've made. He came closer on a verticle jump like she would've made from the bottom of the moat. They dug the moat deeper and put a special fencing above the wall made out of thin strong wire that is flexible and looks like chicken wire but is so thin it doesn't impair visibility. As a last defense the put an electric wire around the top. That enclosure opened in 1940. They said that with the advances in nutrition, a well thoughtout genetic plan for matings of captive animals, and enrichment of their environment, the big captive cats of 60 years ago were like coach potatoes compared to the healthy athletic cats that are being kept today.
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1/5/09 at 6:29am