rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,


Today's issue of The Sacramento Bee had a photograph of a dead tiger in it. The exotic cat had been wandering the suburban region of Ventura County for a couple of weeks, having apparently escaped from an unknown location, and was killed by State, Federal and Ventura County officers yesterday morning after being spotted by a local resident. Officials claimed that it was too dangerous to try to tranquilize the cat, as it might have run onto a nearby freeway, endangering suburban commuters. The location of the Tiger's demise was very near Ronald Reagan's Presidential Library.

I remember this area. It was once a placid region of small farms, ranches and orchards set amid rolling hills which bloomed with wildflowers every spring. Stands of old oaks rose along seasonal watercourses in the narrow canyons, offering shade in the scorching summers when the grassy hillsides were brown. It must be very green there right now, because of the abundant rains this year. The tiger would have blended into the landscape better in the brown summer, though he would not have been as well camouflaged as are the native mountain lions.

Whoever lost the tiger has not reported it missing, probably because it was being kept illegally. I suppose it is possible that whoever was keeping it is dead. Maybe the tiger ate them, though it is not known to have done any harm to any person it may have encountered in its brief time of freedom. Witnesses said that it looked old and tired and starved. Maybe the cat better off dead than it would have been in some zoo, or still penned in somebody's rural yard. I'm just sad that it ended up this way, though.

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