"I didn't know my son was going to go to the zoo. In fact, I thought he was at his friend's house," said Sousa Sr., who learned of his son's death when his mother called him. He called the authorities to confirm the victim's identity.
He questioned police about a specific jersey Sousa Jr. was wearing and when they confirmed the victim was wearing a No. 39 jersey, Sousa Sr. broke down.
"I saw a body bag and said, 'That's my son. I can't believe that's my son,'" he said. "I felt like I was being strangled. I felt like I was being choked. I felt like I lost part of my life."
No surveillance cameras cover the tiger's habitat, making the investigation more difficult.
"Something was done wrong over there. Something's not right," Sousa Sr. said. "I wish I could bring him back. I'll do anything. I'll give my life for him, if I could. I say, 'God take me. Why him?'"
Sousa Sr. remembered his son as a good kid, who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Sousa Jr.'s Myspace page gives further insight into his life. He said he wanted to be a deejay and was about to start selling newspaper subscriptions this week.
"I don't think this deserves to happen to anybody taunting or not taunting. Animals need to be protected from the people and people need to be protected from the animals," Sousa Sr. said.