Paris: French authorities hunted today for a young tiger on the loose near Disneyland Paris, one of Europe's top tourist destinations, and urged residents in three nearby towns to stay indoors.
The town of Montevrain sent out a news alert on its Facebook page today saying a young tiger was spotted in the brush behind tennis courts and a soccer field about 9 kilometers from Disneyland Paris. An examination of a muddy footprint showed that the tiger weighs about 70 kilograms (154 pounds) and is about 1 Â½ years old, said Clement Joly, a Montevrain spokesman.
A picture taken by a passerby shows a tiger on the loose walking in Montevrain, east of Paris, on November 13, 2014. Photo: AFP
Police and rescue squads roped off a security perimeter and urged people living in Montevrain, Chessy and Chalifert to remain indoors or stay inside their cars if they had to travel. School children in Montevrain were accompanied homeafter today's classes. Around 60 police, fire and other security forces were out tracking the tiger, using a helicopter with a thermal detector to spot heat, a specially trained dog and a wolf-catcher, authorities in Montevrain and Seine-et-Marne said.
Specialists who work with the Forestry Department were equipped with tranquilizing guns, said Cedric Tartaud, an aide to Montevrain's mayor. The search for the tiger was to continue through the night with more helicopter flights. Where the tiger came from is still a mystery.
The Parc des Felins, a wild cat animal park 29 kilometers (18 miles) from Montevrain, said all of its animals were accounted for. EuroDisney, the operator of Disneyland Paris, said it has no tigers in its theme park. Disneyland Paris calls itself Europe's No. 1 tourist destination with 14.2 million visits in 2013. Officials at the theme park said no special precautions were taken today inside the park due to the tiger.