Mexican authorities are investigating reports of a tiger sighting nine months after another Bengal tiger escaped into a mangrove forest in another part of the country and was never recaptured.
An official at the environmental protection department in the Attorney General’s Office said Thursday that inspectors were sent Wednesday to the Gulf coast state of Campeche, where residents of the township of San Francisco Koben reported seeing a tiger. The species is not native to Mexico.
The official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name, said inspectors had not seen the beast despite patrolling the area by day and using cameras with sensors at night.
The area is covered by jungle and is near coastal wetlands.
A tiger escaped in November from a restaurant in the southern state of Guerrero and apparently killed five cows. Despite an extensive search, that tiger has never been found.
The distance and different ecosystems between Campeche and Guerrero make it unlikely but not impossible that the same animal is involved in this week’s search.
Mexican circuses have been trying to get rid of exotic animals after a law went into effect in 2015 prohibiting such acts. But drug lords in Mexico have also been known to keep big cats as pets.