Tiger put down after escaping from KZN zoo

Tiger put down after escaping from KZN zoo

A tiger that escaped from the Natal Zoological Gardens and Lion Park in Pietermaritzburg has been put down.

Tiger - Getty Images

Owner Brian Boswell, who also owns the controversial Brian Boswell's Circus, says that the animal escaped on Tuesday.

"We were notified yesterday [Wednesday]. It has since been killed," he said.

"We had a vet with us and we had to put it down because it wasn't safe enough to dart [tranquilize]."

He said nobody was attacked by the tiger.

Boswell did not comment on how the animal escaped.

"The police will look into that."

Nicholas May, who lives in the Mpushini Valley area, where the tiger made its way to, said the animal was spotted by a neighbour in her farm yesterday.

He says the owners were called, and locals assumed the animal would be tranquilized.

"They brought a shotgun and blasted the hell out of it... The animal has been in a cage, it was almost tame," May said.

He said the animal appeared to have survived that and walked off into the nearby bushes.

Boswell however confirmed that the animal was dead.

The circus has been heavily criticised recently, and calls were made for it to be boycotted after allegations emerged that it was mistreating its animals.

The circus says on its website: "The animals are an integral part of the circus and are treated as part of the family. Their well-being is of utmost importance... we spend far more time with our animals than the average working person is able to spend with their pets."

(File photo: Getty Images)

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