On Sept. 22, David Villalobos, a 25-year-old real estate agent from Mahopac, N.Y., visited the Bronx Zoo with a single intention: To “become one” with its tigers.
Villalobos boarded the Wild Asia Monorail, an attraction that glides past open-air enclosures of elephants, rhinos and a red panda. Once he reached the tiger enclosure, Villalobos leapt from the elevated train over a 16-foot-high perimeter fence, landed on all fours and found himself face-to-face with a 400-pound Siberian tiger named Bashuta.
Despite the fangs and claws possessed by the inhabitants, zoos at their most basic aren’t evaluated by insurers in a way much different from other venues with a mission to educate and entertain the public.
Beyond the risks to human visitors and employees that zoos must insure against, what about the insurance considerations for the animals themselves?