Special Officer Rollin R. Tanner

Special Officer Rollin R. Tanner

Salt Lake City Police Department, Utah

End of Watch Saturday, September 10, 1927

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Rollin R. Tanner

Special Officer Rollin Tanner died after being mauled by two lions at the Liberty Park Zoo.

He was detailed to a parade honoring Charles Lindbergh, who had flown the famed Spirit of St. Louis to Salt Lake City. The parade ended at Liberty Park and was attended by thousands of spectators. The large crowd along with noise from the sirens and bands agitated the usually docile lions in nearby cages.

Officer Tanner, who regularly petted the lions while walking his beat, reached in to pet them and calm then down. One of the lions bit Officer Tanner's hand and pulled him against the bars. The second lion also attacked him. A citizen used a metal rod to push the lions away from Officer Tanner, who was pulled to safety.

He developed blood poisoning as a result of the wound and died on September 10th, 1927.

Officer Tanner had previously served as sheriff of the Beaver County Sheriff's Office and with the United States Marshals Service. He had also previously served one term as a state senator.

Officer Tanner was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 66
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Animal related
  • Incident Date Saturday, September 3, 1927

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Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

September 10, 2020

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