S.F. tiger attack victim to be buried Tuesday

January 8, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Tuesday morning in San Jose, a funeral will be held for the teenage victim of the Christmas day tiger mauling at San Francisco Zoo.Meantime, the attorney for the two brothers who survived the attack is accusing the zoo of "character assassination."

The surviving victims' attorney wrote a letter to the San Francisco city attorney's office, insisting none of those young men provoked the tiger attack. And while the legal saga continues, today, family and friends of 17-year old Carlos Sousa Jr. continue to mourn with one last viewing at the Darling and Fischer Mortuary -- before the teen is buried later this morning.

The mother of 17-year old Carlos Sousa, Jr. has said she wants people to remember her son as the happy kid he was and for the way he lived, not the frightening way he died by a tiger mauling on Christmas day.

The 350-pound Siberian tiger 'Tatiana' attacked Sousa and his two friends, after escaping the big-cat enclosure at the San Francisco zoo.

The controversy about the safety of the wall surrounding the habitat and the investigation into whether the tiger was provoked are still ongoing. San Francisco police have not filed any criminal charges against the two brothers who survived the attack -- 19-year old Paul Dhaliwal and 23-year old Kulbir Dhaliwal.

Sousa's family says they haven't yet heard from the brothers and their account of what happened that day, but that the two plan to attend today's funeral. This would be the brothers' first public appearance since the attack. Sousa's parents have called their son a hero for his efforts trying to distract the tiger when it first attacked one of his friends.

The sadness of this San Jose high school teen's death has spread wide; a feeling shared by some 800 people filled out during yesterday's funeral mass. Today, hundreds are expected to attend the burial procession to the Old Calvary Cemetery which begins at 10:30.


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