Missing tiger, camels found alive
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 3:05 PM ET
Two camels and a tiger stolen with a truck trailer last week have been found safe and sound in central Quebec.
Camels Shawn and Todd, and Jonas the tiger, were located late Monday night on a rural road near Drummondville, Que., not far from where they went missing.
A local resident contacted authorities after spotting an abandoned truck trailer on Doyon Road in Saint-Edmond-de-Grantham, said Sgt. Richard Gagné, of the Quebec provincial police.
When police checked the trailer all three animals were “alive and well,” Gagné said.
All three disappeared Friday when their trailer was stolen from a motel parking lot in St-Liboire, a small town outside Saint-Hyacinthe, Que.
The animals were en route from Nova Scotia to the Bowmanville Zoo outside Toronto when their driver stopped in St-Liboire for a break.
The zoo issued several urgent pleas and offered a $20,000 reward for their safe return, asking whoever took them to provide proof that they were feeding and watering the tiger.
Zoo director Michael Hackenberger said Jonas risked kidney failure if he were deprived of water for too long.
Now that the animals have been found, the zoo team is ecstatic that their “family is reunited,” said head zookeeper Stephanie MacEwan.
The animals were given the greenlight to travel back to the zoo, near Oshawa, Ont., Monday night after a veterinarian gave them a clean bill of health, she said.
“She wanted to get them back to a place that they’re familiar with, get to see the people that they know,” said MacEwan. The animals arrived at the zoo early Tuesday morning and have been resting, she said.
“When we saw Jonas, when he rolled through the doors here, he was chuffing just like he always does — he was bright and alert,” said MacEwan.
The animals’ disappearance drew international media attention from outlets in India, Africa, New Zealand and the BBC.
The animals appear to have been cared for during their disappearance, Gagné said. Police have no suspects.
Before the animals were sent on their way, investigators searched the trailer for clues.