Armed police called out to cuddly toy

6 February 2018, 09:37

Police Scotland

Armed police were sent to an Aberdeenshire farm after reports a tiger was on the loose, only to find it was a cuddly toy.

The farmer called Police Scotland to his land near Peterhead after spotting what he thought was a real tiger in his cow shed on Saturday night.

Officers checked with local wildlife parks and sent a number of units, including an armed response team, to the farm.

It was eventually found that the tiger was, in fact, a large cuddly toy, and Police Scotland described it as a "false call made with genuine good intent".

The force said officers had a "roaring shift on Saturday night".

Peterhead 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.

"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."