Tiger's owner talks about cat's escape, 911 calls released
Updated: Aug 1, 2009 06:40 PM EDT
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Looking out of the back window and seeing a full-grown wild cat roaming around is probably enough to get anybody's nerves going.
This was a reality for some neighbors near Torrey Pines and Elkhorn on Thursday night, after a pet tiger got loose!
The tiger's owner says he was walking his cat around on a leash, when the cat bolted.
"I didn't know he was gunna start to chase the rabbits. It's a suprise how fast he went after the rabbits," said Tony Fercos.
It what seemed like a split second, Fercos explains how quickly he lost sight of his tiger.
The white-colored bengal tiger is one of seven exotic cats owned by Fercos. All of the cats are part of his international magic act.
He says he was giving this particular tiger, named Picasso, special attention because he's recovering from an operation.
According to Fercos, he wouldn't normally be walking his cats around out in front in the dark. He learned what a mistake that was.
"I promise not to go any more in the front yard. Just by the perimeter fence, that's it," he said.
After a frantic search around the neighborhood, Fercos spotted his tiger about five houses down.
By that point, police were already en route.
"I was worried in case a police car gunna come and shoot him. You know that was my biggest worry."
Fercos has been in the 'show business' for most of his life and says he has owned exotic cats since the mid 70's.
He considers all of his wild cats as his "children" and doesn't believe they would ever go after a human.
"He's not some kind of wild animal, oh my god, he's gunna kill everybody. He's a calm tiger."
Even though this tiger didn't harm anybody, animal control is investigating. Since it's an "open case" they are not commenting about it right now.
On a lighter note, Tony Fercos and his four tigers, one lion and two leopards are set to tour South America in September.
He says he hopes they can somebody perform at his home in Las Vegas.