WATCH | Tiger eyewitness says they live in fear after scaring missing animal with flashlights

A Walkerville resident whose dog was mauled to death says they continue to live in fear while the search continues for Sheba, the missing eight-year-old tiger. 

Joseph Phiri, who works and lives on a plot less than a kilometre from where the tigress escaped on Friday evening, said he had spotted the animal three times within the first 72 hours she had been missing. 

Phiri last saw her on Sunday afternoon.

“It went up [the ridge] and we did not see it again. I don’t know whether it’s still in the vicinity because we have not seen it again,” he said. 

Gresham Mandy of the local community policing forum (CPF) said they’ve made a breakthrough in their search after the tiger was spotted via drone thermal imaging at a waterhole on Monday evening.

“The tracking team on foot saw very fresh paw prints around the waterhole. They also smelled her, so she was very close but the bush was too thick and too risky for them to enter,” he said.

Instead, the tracking team is using a baiting method with tranquillisers in a carcass to “get her to eat it and make her drowsy so the team can move in and capture her”, said Mandy. 

Since her escape, Sheba has killed at least two dogs, a pig and injured a 39-year-old man.

While they wait for the cat to be located, Phiri said they were concerned for their safety: “We are worried, we can’t work comfortably and kids can’t go to school. Maybe if someone can catch it and shoot it, we could be free and work freely.”


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