Breaking News: Mysterious ‘Big Cat’ on the Loose in France

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it the Beast of Gevaudan come back to life?

French police and firemen and volunteers are beating the bushes some 20 miles east of Paris, trying to capture an animal that was at first thought to be a tiger. Now they say it’s definitely not a tiger, but they don’t know what it is. See the report by Business Week, . There’s one photo someone took, showing the beast silhouetted against the sky: it looks like a tiger to me. But Disneyland Paris says they’re missing none of their big cats, nor has any zoo or circus reported a missing tiger.

Police are asking people to stay indoors until they can catch the critter. If you really have to go out, go by car, not by foot. Hmmm…

What’s the first thing that would make you say an animal was a tiger? Stripes, of course. But let’s say the experts are right, and this is not a tiger. (The animal’s tracks have been carefully examined.) What beast is most likely to be mistaken for a tiger?

If I knew, I’d tell. I hope this is not one of those stories that just drops out of the news without a follow-up.

And I wonder what they’ll say if they fail to catch the animal.

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