You probably heard that a Bengal tiger got loose at Jungle Island last weekend. The popular tourist attraction is three miles north of our seaside community. The 500-pound cat ("Maheesh") caused quite a stir when he jumped a fence to chase a footloose monkey. Park visitors were quickly herded into a petting barn and no one was injured.
I met a Jungle Island employee last night and asked, "Were you there when Maheesh escaped?"
"Oh yeah", he said, "about ten feet away. He shot straight to the top of the 14-foot fence, hesitated for a moment, then jumped down to the ground. It was incredible."
It took a half-hour to the the big cat back in a cage. "He was pretty docile", the employee said, "We didn't have to lure him with steak or use the tranquilizer gun." He then added, "The SWAT guys had the park surrounded with real guns. We're glad Maheesh came through okay".
So what's Jungle Island going to do with the bounding tiger? The young man told me Maheesh will be exiled from Miami. "He's being transferred to an out-of- state facility. We can't keep him here. He knows the way out".