The search for the missing tiger is continuing for the third day. A national police tracking team is joining the hunt for the elusive big cat that escaped from an enclosure in Walkerville, south of Johannesburg, last week.
Following its escape, the eight-year-old female tiger named Sheebah attacked a man and killed a dog and a deer that were nearby. She was then spotted near a watering hole in Walkerville, late on Monday night.
The tracking team are hoping a laced carcass will bait her out of hiding. They’ll be using helicopters, mobile and foot patrols, with thermal imaging equipment to keep track of her.
“It’s a private plot, the owner has the two tigers, zebra, wolves and he has other wildlife. On her way out she killed a deer and then she came to the house and killed the dog there on Saturday. She even attacked a man. As he was walking home at night and he bent down to tie his shoes Sheebah attacked him from behind, the people nearby came to his assistance and chased the tiger away. We haven’t had visible sighting yet but our trackers have discovered fresh paw prints on the ridge above us which shows she is in the vicinity. We have called in national to call in an experienced task team of trackers so they are coming to assist us,” explains Greshem Mandy from the Walkerville community policing forum.
VIDEO: Search under way for the 8 year-old female tiger from Walkerville:
Animal rights group, Four Paws South Africa, have warned that South Africa is becoming a breeding ground for illicit big cats.
“While they are not native to South Africa, unfortunately tigers are bred and kept in captivity in concerning numbers across the country. And the reason for that is commercial purposes and profit. Cases such as this really highlight the need for government to take action to address the private keeping of big cats and also to end the trade of big cats from South Africa,” Four Paws South Africa’s Sarah Locke elaborates.
Authorities have warned members of the public not to approach the animal for their own safety but instead contact the Crime Stop Line 08600 10111.