Tiger Roams Footloose & Fancy Free in Las Vegas

A tiger was found wandering around aimlessly in a backyard in a far northwest Las Vegas neighborhood last Thursday evening.   Weighing in at more than 400 pounds, “Picasso,” a white tiger, is apparently just another part of the magic show for the Fercos Brother’s Untamed Illusions.   

“He’s probably the best tiger in the world,” said Tony Fercos. 

But Thursday evening it was the bright lights of Metro Police that lit up the night’s sky near the magician’s property after a caller reported a tiger on the loose. “I am really concerned about all the kids in the neighborhood. That’s what I am concerned about,” said a neighbor. 

The owners eventually cornered it and took it back to its cage. The owner’s are part of a magic show that tour the world and they say the escape was one big accident. 

Fercos says he was walking the tiger as part it’s recovery from a recent surgery. “He saw the rabbit jumping and he started to run after the rabbit. I fell and I lost the leash,” he said. 

Code enforcement wouldn’t comment on the specifics of the investigation by Las Vegas Animal Control, but they did say the family does have all the necessary paperwork to house exotic animals. “This incident has been taken care of at this point and we are fairly sure that it’s going to be resolved,” said Joe Boteilho with Clark County Code Enforcement. 

Some residents are ok with the neighbors from the animal kingdom. “They are pinned up and things like that happened. They seem pretty tamed,” said neighbor Mike Truxel. 

Others still remain hesitant. “I kind of want them to have control of their animals at all times,” said a neighbor. 

Fercos says walking his big cat alone at night is one mistake he won’t make again anytime soon. “We are going to keep them only in the perimeter fence. I got my lesson,” he said. 

Fercos says he will have to continue walking Picasso regularly as part of the tiger’s recovery, but he is assuring neighbors it will only happen behind the gates of his home.

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