From the AP:
DALLAS — A veterinarian at the Dallas Zoo performed a necropsy Thursday on a female tiger found shot to death near an apartment complex, a zoo official said.
The tiger did not belong to the zoo and was believed to have been someone’s pet. It was found Christmas Day in a vacant lot near a busy interstate and an apartment complex, said zoo spokeswoman Susan Eckert.
According to the article the tiger was a full grown Bengal, weighing 180 pds. and 6 ft. long. Police speculate the tiger was “someone’s pet” as it had a collar and wore a leash.
Zoo veterinarian Dr. Thomas Alvarado performed a necropsy, an autopsy for animals. He found five gunshot wounds, including one in the head and one in the thorax.
Someone shot the tiger dead but decided to not contact the cops. Can you imagine telling your friends, “Guess what I did today? I shot a tiger over by so-and-so apartments.”
A full grown tiger could maim or kill it’s unsuspecting victims such as in the case of Tatiana, the Siberian tiger at the San Francisco Zoo. Authorities are still “not sure” how the tiger escaped her enclosure but zoo officials admitted today that the wall was lower than most standards at only 12.5 ft. Tatiana mauled a 17-year-old boy to death. Two other men were attacked but will survive.
According to an article at the CS Monitor :
There are some 10,000 to 15,000 large cats in private hands in the US, according to an estimate by The Sacramento Animal Protection Institute, based in California. That’s triple the amount of wild tigers in Asia, says Nicole Paquette, the group’s legislative director.
There are no Federal laws banning ownership of tigers. Only 19 states currently ban the possession of exotic ‘pets’ such as lions and tigers.
The public is now aware of Tatiana but few know the numbers of big cats not residing in a zoo but in some neighbor’s yard. One such tiger made her escape only to be shot down by a vigilante citizen who may have saved several lives, including those of children who could have been in the vicinity.
Smoking in public places has been banned because it’s been deemed harmful. What about tigers and lions out there in our neighborhoods? The potential for harm is enormous and yet few officials seem willing to take a stand.
As for the unknown tiger shot dead in Dallas. No blame can be placed on the shooter. It is a shame though, that the tiger, not through its own fault, was in the wrong place and that luckily, at least in this incident, no one was attacked.