December 30, 2007

Desi Pondering: SF’s Tiger Event


One of the most important components to living, to me, is to always be open to learning new information, new things about the mundane and the extraordinary, and to understand how the new interacts with the old.

As I read it, the mystery of how the tiger escaped from the grotto at the San Francisco Zoo remains. The riddle of why the two Indian brothers were there and what they were doing continues.


Part of what has been an enigma is the role of the humans involved. But who are these individuals? As it turns out, the three men involved are friends, with the two brothers being South Asian. The two are not now cooperating with the police:

The Dhaliwal brothers have been hostile to police in the current death investigation and were “extremely belligerent” in an earlier encounter with police this year, authorities say.San Francisco Chronicle

It was soon thereafter that I came upon the use of the phrase “Desi spotting” on the SAJA site. SAJA stands for South Asian Journalists Association, with South Asia including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afganistan, and other countries in the area.

Little did I know that South Asians, mostly Indians and Pakistanis, call themselves “Desis.”

Looking it up, I found this:

Desi (or Deshi; pronounced /ˈd̪e:si/ or /ˈd̪e:ʃi/, Hindi: देशी Urdu:دیسی ), literally means “local, regional” or “indigenous”, as opposed to videshi विदेशी وِدسی meaning “foreign”. The term may be used to refer to people or things of South Asian origin.


At the SAJA Forum, under a discussion entitled “Desi Spotting: Two Desi Brothers Among Tiger Attack Victims,” the identities of those involved are explored.

It was pointed out:

“When Carlos Sousa Jr. didn’t show up for Christmas dinner, his father called several of his son’s friends – including the two brothers injured in the tiger attack that killed the teen. Either Amritpal “Paul” Dhaliwal, 19, or his 23-year-old brother Kulbir Dhaliwal answered the phone and told Sousa Sr. that his son wasn’t with them. In reality, the three young men were either on their way to or had already arrived at the San Francisco Zoo, where they would later be mauled by a 350-pound Siberian tiger.”


Dhaliwal (Hindi: धालीवाल) (also: Dhalliwal), is a large Jat clan found in Northern India. Needless to say, tigers have a special significance to some Indians. Or perhaps it was the power of the animal. Perhaps there is a clue in this mess. Perhaps it speaks to why these young men were attracted to this tiger. I don’t know.


Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

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