A few hours of freedom ended for two Bengal tigers that escaped from a big cat shelter in the Dutch countryside on Saturday, when police managed to sedate them and get them back in their enclosure.
Residents in the northern village of Oldeberkoop, with a population of 1,500, had been told to stay indoors while the tigers – named Radjah and Dehli – were on the loose.
“Careful work by a dog catcher and a vet appears to have tranquilised both tigers. Now checking if they’re sleeping deeply,” said local police officer Jan Graafstra in a tweet before it was confirmed they were back home.
An initial attempt to tranquilise one of the tigers failed.
Nobody had been in any danger during the chase, said Gijsje van Bentum, spokeswoman for the Felida animal sanctuary, where Radjah and Dehli are kept. The tigers had never left the shelter’s property after escaping their enclosure, she added.
Felida receives often elderly big cats from circuses and zoos, treats them, and works to rehome some in a larger shelter in South Africa. This pair was rescued from a zoo in Germany where they were no longer being fed.
The two tigers appeared to have escaped from their enclosure through a gate that had accidentally been left open.
According to Felida’s website, its residents include two lions, eight tigers, a black jaguar and a leopard.