Farmer and police in standoff with stuffed tiger

[This amusing story from The Scottish Sun is an unusual example of medium-as-social-actor presence. See the original for more pictures, and a follow-up story (with the lead “CAT ASTROPHE”) for more reactions including to a Facebook post by the police division. –Matthew]


Frantic Peterhead farmer Bruce Grubb and gun cops cower from tiger for an hour — only to discover it is a cuddly toy

Bruce had invited pals round for a housewarming after moving into the farm three weeks ago when the drama unfolded

By Stuart Patterson
Updated: 6th February 2018

Armed cops were called to tackle a tiger on the loose — and found a giant cuddly toy.

Worried Bruce Grubb, 24, who reported the fearsome big cat lurking on his farm near Peterhead, said: “I got the fright of my life.”

He called in armed officers when he spotted the striped creature crouched on a ramp in the animals’ barn.

When police arrived, they stayed safely inside their vehicles during a tense hour-long stand-off as they tried to work out how best to tackle the beast.

But Bruce began to grow suspicious when the ‘tiger’ didn’t move.

And after nervously approaching the animal in his truck, he realised it was actually a cuddly toy.

Bruce said: “I had absolutely no doubt it was real — I got a hell of a scare. I was worried it was going to eat all my cows before police managed to shoot it.”

Bruce, who moved into his cottage on the farm near Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, three weeks ago, had invited pals round for a housewarming when the drama unfolded on Saturday night.

He had left his guests and girlfriend Amy Brooks while he popped to the shed to check on his 200 pregnant cows.

He said: “I was on duty because the cows could drop at any time so I wasn’t drinking. 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.”

Bruce ran back to the cottage and called police. And he claims the first officer on the scene was just as convinced as he was that the tiger was real.

He added: “He refused to get out of the squad car or even wind the windows down. He didn’t want to go anywhere near it because he thought it was real.”

Six cop cars — including an armed response team — arrived and police checked with local wildlife parks in case any animals had escaped.

But when the ‘tiger’ didn’t move, Bruce bravely decided to take a closer look.

He said: “There was a standoff of about an hour. 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.”

The armed teams were stood down and Bruce eventually got back to his party — without the cuddly tiger.

He said: “The police took it away with them. They said they wanted to keep it as a mascot.”

It’s thought the toy was put there as a prank by jokers.

Bruce added: “I’ve no idea who did it. 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.”

Police are not planning to take any action over the tiger stunt.


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