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Opinion/Editorial: Big cats go on big adventures

Opinion/Editorial: Big cats go on big adventures

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Cats are on the lam these days, according to news reports.

And if there were a lamb around, they might be on that, too.

In East Tennessee, as of this writing, authorities are searching for a roaming tiger.

A Knox County deputy said he spotted the cat … no, wait, that would make it a leopard …

A Knox County deputy said he observed what appeared to be a tiger in an industrial park — and he wasn’t the only one. Reports came in from others elsewhere in the eastern part of the county who said they’d seen a tiger on the loose.

Searchers are being joined by the Tennessee rescue organization Tiger Haven, which will take in the cat if and when it is found. Which we all hope is soon.

Up in New Hampshire, an African serval cat ran away from its owners when it got spooked by the family dog.

The King family had adopted it from a Florida zoo and had a permit from the state fish and game department to keep the exotic animal. The 40-pound cat, named Spartacus, has been living indoors for the past four years — much of the time in an enclosure but having the run of the family home at night.

It was when Spartacus was free inside the house that the escape occurred. One of the family members opened the door to the yard to call their dog back inside, at which point “the dog and the cat spooked each other, and off he went,” said Dean King.

We hope that, unlike his namesake, Spartacus returns to captivity — for his own safety.

And in Germany, another African cat almost went on the lam — or, worse, might have gotten injured.

Authorities said a rare white lion cub was found in a van that was involved in a highway crash.

The cat was fine, but the driver and two passengers were taken to a hospital. They were from Slovakia and were on their way to Spain, according to documents found in the van. At the time of reporting, it was unclear whether the transport was legal.

The cub, which now is being called Lea, was taken to a nearby zoo — a reptile zoo, of all things. But officials there said Lea was healthy and eating … ground beef.

Meanwhile, witnesses to the crash said a toucan also was in the van and managed to fly away.

So, now we have two cats on the lam and a bird on the wing.

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