Escaped Circus Tiger Shot Dead Near Eiffel Tower

November 25, 2017 Updated: November 25, 2017

A tiger that escaped from the circus was shot dead by its owner after it wandered the streets of Paris is causing more controversy.

The tiger caused commuters on a tram line to panic as it roamed the area near the Eiffel Tower on Nov. 24. Terrified Parisians called the fire department after spotting the 440-pound animal. Transportation services were stopped as news of a tiger sighting spread through social media.

“It was a very big tiger,” witness Ralph told Le Parisien, according to The Telegraph. “We heard two or three shots and saw police going down towards the tracks.”

The tiger was killed by Bormann-Moreno circus manager Eric Bormann before the fire department arrived. He said he killed it out of a concern for public safety. He said he shot it in an alleyway with no people.

The tiger had escaped after the door to its enclosure was left open. He thinks it was an “an act of malice,” according to The Telegraph. The circus was preparing to open the following week. Bormann was taken into police custody and an investigation was opened.

The Brigitte Bardot Foundation, an organization specializing in animal rights, was outraged by the news and reacted immediately.

“It’s a miracle that there were no human victims,” the foundation said in a Facebook post. “It is essential to react immediately and ban this exploitation of wild animals reduced to slavery.”

The foundation also mentioned that 13 EU member countries have already banned animals in circuses.

Here is the full translation of the foundation’s Facebook post:

“Paris: a tiger escapes from a circus before being shot.

“We are absolutely shocked by the slaughter of this tiger and angry at Anne Hidalgo, who has been disregarding our repeated requests for months to stop allowing circus animals in Paris. It is a miracle that there have been no human casualties this time, we must react immediately and ban this exploitation from the wild animal reduced to slavery. The Brigitte Bardot foundation calls on Nicolas Hulot to ban the exploitation of animals in circuses as already done 13 EU Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia.”

The circus was planning to begin shows Dec. 3.