There is no such thing as being too safe when you’re a police officer. The police are the first line of defense between everyday citizens and the danger lurking in the world around them.
As such, they take the utmost caution to keep everyone, including themselves, safe from harm.
So when police in Peterhead, Scotland, got an unusual call earlier this month, they didn’t take any chances. In fact, they weren’t sure they even believed the emergency was real at first.
But after sending a single patrol car out to investigate, the station was assured the threat was very real. Actually, the officer was so scared, he refused to get out of his car.
“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,” Inspector George Cordiner said to the BBC.
Police in Scotland received an emergency call from a farmer who said there was a tiger lurking on his property.
Bruce Grubb, 24, the owner of the farm where the tiger made its unwelcome appearance, spotted the big cat lingering around his barn.
“I got the fright of my life,” Grubb said to The Scottish Sun.
The responding officer called in for backup, and before long an armed response team settled into position. They also made calls to local wildlife rescues to see if any were missing a tiger—they weren’t.
The situation continued to grow more tense as the officers struggled to come up with a plan they were comfortable executing.
The officers didn’t want anyone getting hurt if it could be avoided, including the tiger. But they brought firearms just in case.
As the standoff between the team of officers and the tiger ticked past the half-hour mark, the boys in blue started to zero in on a plan.
One officer got into his truck and started inching towards the tiger very slowly. He didn’t want to spook him and send him running, or worse, goad him into an attack.
As the officer approached, he noticed something very strange about the tiger. Grubb had already grown suspicious as well, as the tiger hadn’t moved in nearly an hour.
“I had absolutely no doubt it was real — I got a hell of a scare,” Grubb said. “I was worried it was going to eat all my cows before police managed to shoot it.”
As the officer approached in his truck, he realized the tiger was a large stuffed animal.
Grubb admits he was hosting a party at the time of the tiger sighting, but said he wasn’t drinking and genuinely thought the tiger was real.
“I was stone cold sober, drink had nothing to do with me thinking it was real,” he said.
Grubb was relieved, as were the police. In total, the standoff lasted 45 minutes and is believed to be the work of an anonymous prankster.
The officers believe Grubb made the call truly believing there was a threat, and there will be no charges pressed against him. In fact, they hauled the plush tiger away with them to keep as an unofficial mascot.