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Cuddly tiger scares stuffing out of British police

Friday 3 June 2011, 05:38AM


A life-size toy tiger caused chaos in Britain when panicked villagers called the cops after they spotted what they thought was a man-eating beast in a field.

The alarm was first raised by a concerned member of the public who believed there was an escaped white tiger hiding in a field near Hedge End, Hampshire, southern England.

Officers were sent to the scene along with a helicopter and thermal imaging cameras. When no body heat was detected police moved in and found a cuddly toy tiger.

A police spokeswoman said officers had responded as if it was a real incident, even putting in place contingency plans to close a nearby motorway, which proved unnecessary.

Police enlisted the help from animal experts at nearby Marwell Zoo, who offered advice and were prepared to send a team with tranquiliser darts to overcome the tiger.

The Rose Bowl cricket ground said a game between South Wiltshire and Hampshire Academy was halted for about 20 minutes before they were given the all-clear to continue.

Golfers at a nearby golf course were also told to go indoors.

A police spokeswoman said: “After a brief stalk through the Hedge End savannah, the officer realised the tiger was not moving and the air support using their cameras realised there was a lack of heat source.

“The tiger then rolled over in the down draft and it was at that point it became obvious it was a stuffed life-size toy.

“This incident will definitely be the highlight of our day. The CCTV footage convinced us all we were dealing with a real tiger.

“It’s not often an incident leaves our staff with a smile on their face and it just goes to show the diverse type of incident we are called to deal with.”



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