So a guy in South Africa takes his 8-year old daughter to a lodge where they keep a number of “tame” animals, including a tiger. The lodge owner’s daughter, age 14, tells the 8-year old that it’s okay to pet the tiger. So the guy–despite signs saying not to touch the animals–lets his daughter put her hand through a wire fence, whereupon the tiger promptly bit off a piece of one of her fingers.

The father is threatening to sue the lodge, but the lodge says he should have paid attention to the signs.

Who’s at fault here? No question, the lodge could have taken better precautions to prevent this kind of thing. But at the same time, we’re talking about a tiger here. There is no such thing as a “tame” tiger. Just ask Siegfried and Roy, the legendary Las Vegas performers who worked with lions and tigers. Roy, who one must assume, has a bit more experience with tigers than the little girl, was nearly killed by a “tame” tiger he’d worked with for years.

Who in his or her right mind would allow a child to stick a hand through a fence and touch an animal that can take down an elephant and eat it? Yes, what happened to this little girl is a tragedy–but she’s lucky she didn’t lose a whole lot more than a finger. If she’d been bitten by a dog after the owner said it was okay to pet it, I can see how there might be grounds to sue the owner. But a tiger? Come on.

A few more details here.