iger apparently wandering Fort Polk|Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|09/03/04 at 13:30:59|richard_f|xx|0||From KATC-TV Channel 3 (Lafayette, LA):
Tiger apparently wandering Fort Polk
August 31, 2004

LEESVILLE, La. (AP) - The Army apparently has an unwanted guest at Fort
Polk -- a Bengal tiger that has been reported wandering around the huge
military installation.

Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft says a man called military police at the
post on Friday and reported seeing a Bengal cub, perhaps weighing about 100

The weekend passed without any other reports, but there were five sightings
yesterday, including one by a military police station that reported seeing
the tiger cross a road. Craft says authorities have no idea how a tiger
wound up loose in western Louisiana.

He says it might be somebody's pet that got loose or got to be too much to
handle so they let it go. Craft says the Army has contacted an animal
tracker in hopes of finding the tiger -- or whatever it may be.

|| Re: iger apparently wandering Fort Polk|Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|09/03/04 at 13:42:55|richard_f|xx|0||Search continues for tiger

Associated Press
September 2, 2004

FORT POLK (AP) — The Army set traps with nets and raw chicken meat Wednesday, but a Bengal tiger cub still managed to elude the 100-man team of soldiers, deputies and helicopter crews who searched for the animal for a second day.

“We’re trying to flush the little rascal out, but he’s not cooperating,” said Scott Heinrich, owner of a wild animal consultancy that was brought in to track the tiger.

The cat, thought to be about 1 year old and 100 pounds, was first seen Friday by a man near a base gas station. Several more sightings have been reported, most recently on Tuesday night: one near a golf course and another near an area of base housing, said Maj. Ron Elliott, a Fort Polk spokesman.

The cat is probably a pet that escaped or was set free, and witnesses have said it is wearing a collar, Heinrich said. No one has come forward to claim ownership.

The Army more than doubled the size of the search team, which began with 40 deputies and soldiers Tuesday. Elliott said the searchers will strive to capture the animal humanely — in a trap or with a tranquilizer dart — but they would kill it if it attacks.

“If there’s imminent danger, we’ll have to take the tiger down,” Elliott said.

Heinrich said that’s unlikely. Unless cornered, the animal’s first instinct will be to run away, he said.

“He’s going to run like hell when he sees us,” he said.

Heinrich said he’s been following paths through the base’s thick brush and has seen several cat tracks. The Army has told people on the base to stay off running paths and other areas near where the tiger has been seen, Elliott said.

But the search is difficult. The tracks are tough to follow because the ground is wet, Heinrich said. Hitting the animal with a tranquilizer dart will also be difficult because of the animal’s speed and the thick brush that could deflect the dart, Heinrich said.

“It’ll be a tough shot to make,” he said.

|| Re: iger apparently wandering Fort Polk|Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|09/17/04 at 18:18:19|richard_f|xx|0||From the Leesville (LA) Daily Leader:
No tiger yet as search continues
September 03, 2004

FORT POLK, La. --A Bengal tiger cub that has become the talk of Vernon
continues to elude Fort Polk personnel and members from the Louisiana
Wildlife and
Fisheries as the search for the animal continues.

Maj. Ron Elliott, Fort Polk Public Affairs, explained that they are going to
be taking a different route on trying to capture the tiger.

"We are changing our tactics. We are setting out more traps and we are going
to have less presence around them," Elliott said.

He explained that they are hoping that with fewer people in the woods the
tiger will go into one of the humane traps in search of the bait.

The Louisiana National Guard Reconnaissance Aerial Interdiction Detachment
(RAID) Unit has also been brought in.

The unit is primarily a drug interdiction team mainly used on the border.
They have increased night vision capabilities which the Army hopes will aid
locating the tiger.

The last confirmed sighting was Thursday at 12:30 a.m. near K Avenue in a
wooded area.

Fort Polk also wants to remind all individuals that all wooded areas, and
trails from Exchange Road to the Access Check Point on Chaffey to the Access
Check Point on Hwy 467 are off limits.

"Any violators are subject to apprehension or arrest," Elliott said.

The Army continues to ask that anyone having any information about who
possibly owned the tiger to come forward. The owner may have information
about what
its likes are that may aid in its capture.

If you see the tiger do not approach it and call 531-COPS immediately and
report the sighting.

|| Re: iger apparently wandering Fort Polk|Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|09/17/04 at 18:41:46|richard_f|xx|0||Loose Tiger

September 7, 2004
The Associated Press

A federal agriculture official has taken over tracking duties as the Army continues its nearly two-week search for a loose Bengal tiger at Fort Polk.

Base spokesman, Major Tim Blair, says the Army has had enough reports of sightings -- confirmed by paw prints and droppings -- to believe that the animal remains in a wooded area of the southwest Louisiana military base.

The tiger cub, believed to be a year old and about 100 pounds, was first spotted August 27th, near a gas station. The Army is unsure where it came from, but officials say they suspect it's a pet that escaped or was set free.

A US Department of Agriculture official led about 60 armed soldiers and sheriff's deputies in the search.

Blair says teams will continue to look for the animal until they find him or make sure it's not on the base.