Sheba: the tigress escaped to South Africa, was shot dead

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The tigress that escaped from an exotic animal farm in South Africa, which had been prowling for four days near Johannesburg, was “killed” at dawn on Wednesday after a new attack on a dog in an inhabited farm.

“We had no choice but to eliminate her” because “she killed a dog on a farm where six families live” and “the danger had become too great”, declared Mandy Gresham, a representative of the local community that participated in the research.

Sheba, the eight-year-old Bengal tigress, had previously attacked a 39-year-old man, who survived, and killed other dogs and a deer. She was sought by several dozen police officers, nature activists, and neighbors helped by drones and helicopters.

The big cat had managed to get out of its enclosure on Saturday after an unknown person cut the fence in a farm about thirty kilometers from Johannesburg, the South African economic capital located in the most populous province of the country.

The tigress had already been spotted near the property on Monday. She had come back to look for meat there.

The South African Society for the Protection of Animals (NSPCA) said it was “dangerous and irresponsible” for tigers to be kept in residential areas.

The endangered species is not endemic to South Africa but its breeding, particularly for sale to zoos, has become widespread in recent years.

The country does not have an official census of its tiger population, but according to the animal rights NGO Four Paws, nearly 10% of the world’s population (or 359 specimens) were exported between 2011 and 2020.

Maryam Lahbal

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