PARIS — A large feline, probably a tiger, was seen roaming near Disneyland Paris theme park on Thursday, triggering an urgent police hunt and warnings for people to stay indoors and to fetch children home from school by car.
Local residents spotted the big cat near the town of Montevrain, east of Paris, prompting authorities to dispatch a helicopter and some 60 police and firemen armed with stun guns to set up a security perimeter, the mayor’s chief of staff told Reuters.
“We’ve asked parents to come and fetch their children from school in cars so that no child goes home alone or without supervision,” said Cedric Tartaud-Gineste.
A spokesman for the town hall said: “The feline experts who analyzed the paw prints said it was a large feline, probably a tiger, weighing about 175 pounds.”
The animal was most likely kept as a private pet, the spokesman said. A nearby circus did not keep any tigers and a zoo located 19 miles away was too far for it not to have been noticed by local people earlier.
The last sighting was reported by a man near a public park, prompting police to widen their search area.