Tigers might be endangered, but they’re still pretty scary. And despite how beautiful they are, they can be incredibly dangerous.
Which is why, when Scottish farmer Bruce Grubb saw one in a barn where he had 200 pregnant cows, he called the police. It was a wise move, given that it could have killed all of his cows pretty easily and swiftly.
An armed response unit arrived and an hour-long standoff between the cops and the tiger ensued – until they realised that the beast was actually a cuddly toy.
The incident happened while Grubb was Bruce was hosting a housewarming party. He popped out to check on the pregnant cows and that’s when he thought he saw the tiger.
Now, you might be thinking: ‘Housewarming party, eh? There were probably a few drinks involved’ – but you’d be wrong. Grubb was totally sober.
“I was on duty because the cows could drop at any time so I wasn’t drinking,” he told the Scottish Sun.”I flashed my torch in the shed and saw it sitting there. I was stone cold sober, drink had nothing to do with me thinking it was real.”
He wasn’t the only one, either. After running back to the cottage near Peterhead, he called the police, and the first officer to get to the scene was also convinced the tiger was real.
“He refused to get out of the squad car or even wind the windows down,” Grubb said. “He didn’t want to go anywhere near it because he thought it was real.”
Eventually, six more police cars, including an armed response team, showed up and police began checking with local wildlife parks to see if any animals had escaped while they began their standoff.
It was when the tiger didn’t move after a long period of time that Grubb decided to take a closer look.
“There was a standoff of about an hour,” he said. “No one really knew what to do for the best. But as time went on and it wasn’t moving, I started to think it wasn’t real. I drove right up to it with my truck and that’s when I knew it was a toy.”
It makes for a great anecdote – and the party will be one to remember for a long time to come. The tiger ended up being kept as a mascot by the police. How it got there remains a mystery, but Grubb believes it was a prank.
“I’ve no idea who did it,” he said. “I don’t know if they thought they were being funny or if they wanted to scare me. No one’s owned up to it yet.
“I feel a bit silly for calling the police but I thought it was a real emergency. We’re laughing about it now but it was very scary at the time.”