Bay Area Briefs

Saturday October 12, 2002

Lion at S.F. zoo dies 

SAN FRANCISCO — The oldest lion at the San Francisco Zoo has been put to sleep. 

Sandy, a 23-year-old female African lion, was euthanized on Tuesday because she had an acute mass in her left rear leg that was inoperable. Sandy was also being treated for arthritis, and the zoo says her quality of life was deteriorating. 

After Sandy’s death, veterinarians found that the diseased mass in her leg had weakened the bone so much that she had a fracture in her ankle bone. They also found a large mass in her liver. 

Sandy was the last in a long line of zoo lions dating to 1939. African lions typically live 10 to 15 years in the wild and up to 24 years in captivity. 

The zoo has three other lions and is working to breed them to start a new pride. 


High school melee  

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco police have arrested a teacher at Thurgood Marshall Academic High School for allegedly inciting a riot, resisting arrest and battery on a police officer. 

Anthony Peebles, 29, was arrested along with some students at the school in the riot that broke out Friday morning. Conflicting reports from police said either two or three students were also arrested. 

Police believe a fight broke out between a group of about 30 black and Asian students, though they did not know the exact cause. The fight spilled out of the school, with about 400 students following the conflict onto the street. 

Police in riot gear responded and students were sent home. 

There were no injuries. 

Police spokesman Jim Deignan said officers stepped up patrols in the area and were keeping a watch out for more trouble. 


Bridge belly up 

SAN FRANCISCO – The financially strained Golden Gate Bridge District has got its hand out to bicyclists and pedestrians. 

Beginning next spring, cyclists and pedestrians wanting to cross the landmark bridge will be able to make voluntary contributions. 

The donations are part of a plan, approved Friday by the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District Board of Directors, that aims to lessen the impact of the district’s projected $296 million budget deficit in the next five years, said spokeswoman Mary Currie. 

The voluntary donations have been approved for a one-year trial basis, Currie said.