Statistical table provided by REXANO, Responsible Exotic Animal Ownership, www.REXANO.org 

http://www.rexano.org/Statistics/REXANOAZATABLE.pdf

HUMAN FATALITIES CAUSED BY CAPTIVE TIGERS IN THE USA 1990-2007 

YEAR/State   Relationship to tiger   Comments  
December 2007    

California  

Visitor killed by a tiger who was out of her cage, while still on the SF Zoo property  Still under investigation as of 12/28/2007 
April 2006 Minnesota   USDA federally licensed private professional owner/trainer herself killed by her tiger  Occupational hazard. MN already has tough regulations on exotic animals-no risk to uninvolved public. 
August 2005 Kansas   17 year old visitor voluntarily on the property visiting federally licensed private professional USDA facility to have her picture taken with adult tiger which is against USDA rules.  Parents should also be held responsible. Parents sued Exhibitor lost his USDA license and KS enacted tough regulations compared by many to a ban. No risk to uninvolved public. 
December 2003 North Carolina   10 year boy old killed by his uncle’s pet tiger  Parents should be also held responsible. Being killed by a tiger shouldn’t be treated any differently than death by accidents involving other activities. No risk to uninvolved public. 
April 2003 Oklahoma   Tiger killed a handler at professional federally licensed USDA facility  Occupational hazard–no risk to uninvolved public. 
March 2003 Illinois   Man killed by his own tigers at his own federally licensed USDA facility  Occupational hazard-no public risk. Illinois already heavily regulates private possession of ‘dangerous animals’. 
October 2001 Texas   3-year old boy killed by his family’s pet tigers  Parents should be also held responsible. Being killed by a tiger shouldn’t be treated any differently than death by accidents involving other activities. No risk to uninvolved public. 
July 2001 Florida   Tiger killed a worker doing a tiger cage repair at a professional federally licensed USDA facility  Occupational hazard. FL already has regulations on exotic animals-no risk to uninvolved public not on property. Exhibitor lost his USDA license. 
March 2001 Nevada   Tiger killed handler, federally licensed USDA facility  Occupational hazard, no public risk, facility is not in business anymore 
June 1999 Texas   9-year old killed by her stepfather’s tiger  Parents should be also held responsible. Being killed by a tiger shouldn’t be treated any differently than death by accidents involving other activities. No risk to uninvolved public. 
November 1998 Florida   Tiger killed his female owner at federally licensed USDA facility  Occupational hazard. FL already has regulations on exotic animals-no risk to uninvolved public not on the property. 
October 1998 Florida   Same tiger that killed his female owner in November 1998(see above) killed his male handler/trainer  Occupational hazard. FL already has regulations on exotic animals-no risk to uninvolved public not on the property. 
May 1997 Pennsylvania   Circus tiger killed trainer  Occupational hazard. 
June 1994 Florida   AZA zoo keeper killed by a tiger  Occupational hazard. 
1990-1993   Some attacks but no fatalities  Since Internet and data was not easily accessible as it is now, 1990 is our starting year for data collection. 

REXANO collected data related to human fatalities caused by captive tigers in the USA dating back to 1990.

Total of 14 people were killed by ALL captive tigers in the USA in the last 17 years, which is 0.8 deaths per year. Very small number compared to the risks we face in everyday life.

According to The Minnesota Zoo, Home of the AZA Tiger Species Survival Plan® (SSP)

http://www.mnzoo.com/conservation/National/SSP/amurtig.asp ,

as of March 2002 there were 87 SSP member institutions holding 266 tigers in Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos: 149 Amur tigers (56%); 55 Sumatran tigers (21%); 37 Indochinese tigers (14%); and about 25 generic tigers (9%).

Estimates wary as to how many captive tigers are kept in US private (non AZA sector) sector.

Latest guesses go from 10,000 to 15,000, so for our argument we will use the number 12,500

of privately (non AZA) kept tigers in the USA.

(Please note some AZA accredited zoos are privately owned)

CONCLUSION:

In the last 17 years, a person was almost 8 times more likely to be killed by a captive tiger in AZA than non AZA facility. In all cases, uninvolved public was never at risk, most fatalities happened as a result of occupational hazard to owners/trainers/keepers, the rest happened to family members and public voluntarily visiting the property where the animals were kept.

Since 1990, nobody in the USA died as a result of a captive tiger at large, meaning, OFF the property of where the animals were kept. Tiger out of the cage but still on owners’/zoo property is not considered AT LARGE for our statistical analysis.

 

 

  

1990-2007 (present)

Number of tigers

 

  

Human fatalities

 

  

Rate

 

  

Odds AZA vs. non AZA

 

AZA zoos 266

2

1/266=0.0075

0.0075/0.00096=7.812, almost 8

Private sector 12,500 (non AZA)

12

12/12,500=0.00096

In the last 17 years, a person was almost 8 times more likely to die in AZA than non AZA facility.

Total 12,766

14

14/12,766=0.00109

 

  

 

 

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