Toy tiger triggers armed police standoff after Scottish farmer spots ‘predator’ on the loose.
Scottish police were locked in a tense standoff with what they thought was a wild beast, spotted by a local farmer. The encounter lasted nearly an hour before the armed officers realized the tiger was in fact a stuffed animal.
Six police vehicles, including a firearms unit, rushed to a farm near Peterhead in Aberdeenshire Saturday night, after 24-year-old Bruce Grubb reported he’d seen the predator in his cow shed. Police treated the call “from an extremely concerned member of the public” seriously enough to check with the nearest wildlife park whether it had an escapee.
Unsure what to do, the officers hesitated. As time went on, Bruce grew suspicious why the animal hadn’t moved during the 45-minute standoff and drove his truck forward for a closer look. It was then he realized it was just a toy.
“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 told the Scottish Sun.
The farmer, who was hosting a housewarming party at his cottage at the time, said he was “stone cold sober,” because he waited for his pregnant cows to deliver at any moment.
The first officer on the scene was also convinced the stuffed toy was real. “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,” the farmer said.
North East Police Division confirmed the bizarre operation on Tuesday, saying the officers had “a roaring shift.” It was “a false call made with genuine good intent,” local inspector Inspector George Cordiner said.
“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,” the farmer admitted.
It is thought the toy was planted as a practical joke. The officers have taken the tiger to keep as their mascot.