Although tigers are not native to Africa, there appears to be one running loose not too far from where I live, -- and no it did not escape from the local zoo either!
The following report is by Karabo Gill (Jacarandafm.co.za)
Tiger escaped out of bakkie while on their way to vet
The Mpumalanga Wildlife Management Unit and the province's SPCA are investigating the escape of Panjo the tame tiger. His owner, Goosey Fernandes, says the 18-month old animal escaped on the N12 between Groblersdal and Delmas while being taken to the vet on the East Rand.
“I was planning to do intensive breeding with him because he is a White Tiger. He was going to come back to the vet this week for his last two vaccinations. He travels with me quite often. I put him in the back of the truck. And then I locked the thing up and my wife was actually behind me in another car. We left the farm in Groblersdal and when I got to Delmas I stopped and the back door was open and my cat was gone," explains an emotional Fernandes.
He says that since Panjo's disappearance last night he has done everything he can to search for the tiger. "Since I've lost him I only got to bed at six o'clock this morning. I have come back to my house and just to pick up a couple of things and go out again [to look for him]. I am devastated. I don't know what to do. I have got choppers all over the area. I have got everything. I am in a bad state of mind," he says.
The following report (the latest one at time of posting) is by Louise Flanagan (www.iol.co.za)
Tiger 'could get aggressive'
More than 12 hours after a Bengal tiger escaped from a bakkie between Delmas and Groblersdal, he was still on the loose.
By 1pm the search had moved to the Endicott area near Delmas after reports of a sighting of the big cat. A helicopter, fixed wing-aircraft and a microlight scoured the area.
The 17-month-old tiger, Panjo, was hand-reared from a baby so it is used to people. However his owner Goosey Fernandes is concerned that Panjo may have been injured when he escaped from the bakkie he was being transported in somewhere around the R25.
"If he's hurt he's going to be aggressive," he said. He warned that children particularly should stay away from Panjo.
Picture Credit: http://twitpic.com/292jts
Don't lost cats always find their home???