Law enforcement officers can tell you that they get a wildly diverse variety of calls they need to respond to.
Headlines have been filled with accounts of police being called over things such as wrong fast food orders, so every call can bring a new situation to assess.
But sometimes the calls are more serious and involve animals. The animals may be domesticated, livestock, or even wild critters that have gotten into situations that put them and the public in danger.
When Scottish farmer Bruce Grubb saw something unusual in his cow shed, he panicked and called the police. What he saw was a tiger and he feared for his livestock, according to The Scottish Sun.
The first officer to respond, according to The New York Post, “refused to get out of the squad car” because he was so afraid of trying to deal with the tiger.
U.S. animal sanctuary Big Cat Rescue wrote on its website that tigers hunt similarly to how lions hunt.
Tigers “…stalk, chase, and attack, bringing down and killing the prey with usually a bite to the nape of the neck or the throat.
The bite to the throat allows the tiger the ability to suffocate the prey bringing death relatively quickly and painlessly.”
Videos posted by Big Cat Rescue show how quietly, stealthily and quickly a tiger can go from zero to sixty when attempting an attack, so fear on the part of the farmer and responding officers when facing down a tiger is understandable.
So much caution was used in trying to figure out how to safely deal with the big cat that every reasonable measure was taken by the responding North East Police Division.
According to a Facebook post from them about the incident, “Unusual as the call may have seemed, any call reporting a potential danger to the public has to be taken seriously and efforts were made to verify the sighting as soon as possible, including starting to make contact with the nearest wildlife park to make sure they did not have an escapee.”
The post further explained that, “Our ultimate aim is to protect the public and keep our officers safe when faced with uncertain situations. Until you know exactly what you are dealing with, every option has to be considered.”
After 45 minutes, it was “established there was no threat to the public.” So how could a tiger loose in a cow shed present no threat to the public? It was a stuffed animal.
— Chris ?? (@Chris_1791) February 6, 2018
Now it may seem implausible that a toy could be mistaken for the real thing, but humorist speaker Jeanne Robertson has shared a story about how a stuffed animal she bought and left in her hotel room was mistaken by staff to be a living critter, and caused all manner of chaos until they finally realized it was a toy.
It seems reasonable to conclude that someone left the stuffed tiger in the cow shed as a prank, although it is uncertain who did it or how far the prank was supposed to go.
One thing is for sure and that is that while the police took a while to realize it was a toy, their abundance of caution ensured that no one and nothing were injured in the situation, which if real, could have been incredibly dangerous.
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