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Armed police called after toy mistaken for wild tiger

A farmer raised the alarm after spotting the large teddy in a cowshed in Aberdeenshire.

Tiger: Officers called wildlife park.
Tiger: Officers called wildlife park. UK Cop Humour

Armed police were called to a farm over fears a wild tiger was on the loose, only to find it was a stuffed toy.

A farmer raised the alarm after spotting the large teddy in a cowshed in Hatton near Peterhead, in Aberdeenshire.

Officers were alerted over fears a "wild animal" was on the loose.

They were forced to call the Highland Wildlife Park to check its tigers had not escaped.

Police have confirmed the incident was a false alarm with good intent.

Inspector George Cordiner said: "We received a call from an extremely concerned member of the public late on Saturday evening with regards to a wild animal being loose in the grounds of a farm in the Hatton area.

"Unusual as the call may have seemed, any call reporting a potential danger to the public has to be taken seriously and efforts were made to verify the sighting as soon as possible, including starting to make contact with the nearest wildlife park to make sure they did not have an escapee.

"As is standard practice when we are made aware of a potential threat to the public the use of firearms officers was considered as a contingency. In this case, they attended the area in support of the local community officers but they were not deployed nor required."

'Unusual as the call may have seemed, any call reporting a potential danger to the public has to be taken seriously.'
Inspector George Cordiner

He added: "Our ultimate aim is to protect the public and keep our officers safe when faced with uncertain situations. Until you know exactly what you are dealing with, every option has to be considered.

"The incident was stood down within 45 minutes once officers attended and established there was no threat to the public. We appreciate that it was a false call made with genuine good intent."

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