The zoo's director of animal care and conservation, Robert Jenkins, could not explain how Tatiana escaped. The tiger's enclosure is surrounded by a 15-foot-wide moat and 20-foot-high walls, and the approximately 300-pound female did not leave through an open door, he said.Let me quote — as I did when a 300-pound gorilla escaped from his enclosure — these lines from The Life of Pi:
"There was no way out through the door," Jenkins said. "The animal appears to have climbed or otherwise leaped out of the enclosure."
[Zoo] animals do not escape to somewhere but from something. Something within their territory has frightened them ... and set off a flight reaction. The animal flees, or tries to. I was surprised to read at the Toronto Zoo ... that leopards can jump up to eighteen feet straight up. Our leopard enclosure in Pondicherry was sixteen feet high at the back. I surmise that Rosie and Copycat never jumped out was not because of constitutional weekness but simply because they had no reason to. Animals that escape go from the known to the unknown--and if there is one thing an animal hates above all else, it is the unknown.This may be so, and then the question is not why Tatiani was able to escape, but why she wanted to and why so many other zoo animals do not.