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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 July, 2004, 09:45 GMT 10:45 UK
Death threats after tiger is shot
Jorge Piono of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission
The agency's officials have received hundreds of angry e-mails and calls
Wildlife agency officials in Florida have been advised to avoid wearing their uniforms after a series of death threats over the shooting of a tiger.

An officer from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission killed the tiger last week after it escaped from a home owned by a one-time Tarzan actor.

The agency said Bobo, a 600-pound (270-kg) tiger, had lunged at the officer during the hunt.

It said it had received at least five death threats since the killing.

'Hanging from a tree'

Agency spokesman Willie Puz said the threats included a call from a woman who demanded his hanging.

"She said someone should shoot you for defending the officer and lying to the public [and] that I should be hanging from a tree," Mr Puz was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

Rodney Barreto, chairman of the FWCC, said earlier that the danger posed by the tiger had been very real:

"Our officer was face to face with a instinct-driven predator that hadn't eaten in at least 26 hours and was on the run."

According to the agency's directive, while armed officers must stay in uniform, other field staff - from fishery experts to scientists - should wear street clothes as a precaution following the public outcry over the killing.

Tiger owner Steven Sipek - who played Tarzan in two films in 1969 and 1972 - has insisted that Bobo was a tame pet posing no threat.

'Tarzan's tiger' shot in Florida
14 Jul 04 |  Americas

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