A tiger was shot and killed while it was prowling an Atlanta, Georgia neighborhood. The tiger caused a bit of a stir when it attacked a terrified dog and alarmed residents with its odd presence.
The tiger first sent residents into a frenzy at about 6 am local time. Authorities received at least two 911 calls from people who spotted her near the ramp from I-75 North to Jodeco Road and near a home in the area, Henry police Capt. Joey Smith said. Police officers later found the big cat and alerted animal control officials.
“Unfortunately, it jumped a fence and went after a dog back behind one of the residences here,” Smith said. “And the officers had to use some force to put the tiger down.” Officers weren’t equipped with tranquilizers and came across the Bengal tiger before animal control authorities arrived, Smith said. “It was large enough to be of great concern to us,” Smith said. The tiger was also “in close proximity to a school bus route in a densely populated area,” Smith said.
The 6-year-old Bengal tiger was a circus star named Suzy. The feline managed to escape from a transport truck carrying 14 of the big cats from Florida to Tennessee, officials said late Wednesday.
“The truck had stopped in Georgia during the overnight hours, and during that stop, the female Bengal tiger managed to escape unnoticed,” The Department of Natural Resources spokesman Mark McKinnon said in a news release. “(The company) discovered that she was missing when the truck arrived at the destination.” McKinnon said officials found a microchip in the tiger that matched a number for the entertainment company (Feld Entertainment), which touts itself as “the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences,” according to its website.
Circus presenter and big cat trainer Alexnder Lacey owned Suzy, Feld Entertainmnt Inc. spokesman Stephen Payne told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Lacey was contracted to work with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Payne said the surviving 13 big cats are healthy and in good care. Authorities have not filed charges against the company or Lacey, but PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is not happy. The group is not upset with the police for killing the tiger, but angry with the circus for caring for, feeding, and teaching the cats tricks as entertainment. “Wild animals belong in the wild,” PETA spokeswoman Brittany Peet said in a news release, “and when dangerous apex predators are confined to private homes or for entertainment, the consequences can be fatal.”
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