Reward offered in Texas tiger shooting

December 31, 2007

Reward offered in Texas tiger shooting

TAMPA — Big Cat Rescue in Tampa is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for killing a young female Bengal tiger in Texas last week.

The tiger’s body was found next to Interstate 35E in Dallas Christmas Day. The animal, which had been declawed, was wearing a makeshift collar and leash. It was shot five times in the face and chest.

“A lot of people have animals in private ownership and can’t take care of them,” said Scott Lope, operations manager at Big Cat. “It’s such a tragedy that these animals are so disposable.”

A necropsy was performed at the Dallas Zoo where five shell casings were found in the 180-pound cat.
Chuck Siegel, deputy director of the Dallas Zoo, said he believes the tiger may have become more than the owner could handle.

“It hits home so much for us because Florida and Texas have the most pet tigers in private ownership,” Lope said.

Big Cat, which has been working with Texas authorities, already has passed on a few tips, Lope said.
Anyone with information is asked to call (813) 920-4130.

–Jackie Ripley, Times staff writer

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

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