Lost Tiger Killed by Police in Atlanta Highlights Urgent Need to Protect Big Cats

A dangerous situation that turned deadly for a lost tiger found wandering this week highlights an urgent need to protect both the public and big cats in the U.S.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the tiger was first spotted on a highway in Atlanta, Ga., before making her way into a neighborhood, where she jumped a fence into a resident’s backyard and attacked a dog. A nearby zoo and sanctuary had both been notified; neither owned the tiger, but theyintended to help and tranquilize her. Unfortunately, the attack prompted officers on the scene to use deadly force.

“With the tiger in close proximity to a school bus route in a densely populated area, officers made the decision to put the animal down with gunfire fearing that occupants of the home could be in danger as well as others in the area,” the Henry County Police Department said in a statement.

The dog who was attacked is at least fine, but confusion about where the tiger came from followed, and her origins remained undetermined for most of the day. The incident prompted PETA to offer a reward for information, and officials began investigating.

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the mystery was solved after an official with a company contracted to transport tigers for Feld Entertainment, which owned Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, reached out with information after hearing media reports.

The tiger’s name was Suzy, and she was only six years old. She was among a group of tigers who were being transported from Florida to Tennessee, before they would be flown to Germany to be used in another controversial circus despite massive public opposition to this transfer. Somehow she escaped in Georgia, and no one noticed until it was far too late.

The Henry County Police Department added that possible charges are pending, but the situation highlights a much bigger problem that we have with big cats, and other potentially dangerous wild animals: we need to better regulate private possession through federal laws, and we need to end their use in entertainment.

Two Big Ways to Help Get Justice for Suzy

There are currently two groundbreaking federal bills that would help protect us, big cats and other exotic animals who are being kept as pets and used in entertainment that need our support.

Please sign and share the petition urging Congress to pass the Big Cats Public Safety Act, which will ban the private ownership and breeding of tigers, lions and other big cats throughout the nation.

You can also help by signing and sharing the petition urging Congress to pass the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act, which will end the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling circuses once and for all.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

82 comments

Philippa P
Philippa P2 days ago

Thanks.

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Mark Donner
Mark Donner7 days ago

And Nicole, what you are saying to excuse the many repulsive, bull necked, shaved headed things called cops in America that regularly gun down dogs and kids for thrills is pure BS. There is NOTHING you can say to excuse their actions. And FYI, many of the so called "police" in America are deliberately recruited from pools of criminals.

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Mark Donner
Mark Donner7 days ago

Darting the tiger without gunning it down is the common sense thing to do. It's what they do in other countries without any danger to anyone, but any wayward wildlife in backwards psycho America is gunned down. There is nothing sane about America and Canada, degraded countries run by psychos and full of sadists and killers. Asia is the other wildlife killing and environment destroying hellhole on planet Earth.

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Jennifer H
Jennifer H8 days ago

So the Dingalings managed to get an animal killed yet. Inexcusable. How do you lose a tiger and not know it? Animals will always lose when humans are involved.

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Cruel Justice
Cruel Justice9 days ago

Horrible.

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Na Khong
Na K11 days ago

All animals are created by God and should not be abused.

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Maureen G
Maureen G12 days ago

All wild animals should be living in their natural environment free from human abuse and exploitation.

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Philippa Powers
Philippa P14 days ago

Thanks.

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ellie d
Ellie M15 days ago

:)

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Kathryn I
Kathryn I15 days ago

This is just one example of why I despise cops like I do! They seem to think they can kill any animal or human being they want to "because they CAN!" They are NEVER held accountable for their actions!!

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