Large Cat Loose Downtown?

Is this true? Can anyone confirm this? Taken from the Ticats Web page.

April 04, 2010

It is confirmed.

After weeks of speculation, a photo has captured a large cat roaming downtown Hamilton. On Friday, April 2nd at 10:33 p.m., Jason Riley got more than a shock on his walk home through Gore Park.

"I couldn't believe my eyes," said Riley, "I just froze. I didn't know what to do."

But what Riley did do, was capture what many have believed for weeks.

"I had heard whisperings that there was possibly a tiger in the city, but like everyone else I didn't believe it, so I knew I had to get a photo. I was far enough away from it that it still hadn't noticed me. I slowly pulled out my phone and just as I took the photo, he looked back at me."

What happened next gets foggy for Riley.

"I think I heard a roar, I don't know. I knew I had to get out of there fast. I didn't want to stick around, that thing was massive. I just started to run. I ran for what seemed like eternity and then called the cops."

But by the time the police showed up to the spot of the Gore Park sighting, the animal was gone. However, the photo was not. Riley turned over his phone to the Police for examination. Experts have confirmed that the picture has not been doctored. Captured on Riley's camera phone appears to be a Siberian tiger, how it got here remains a mystery.

Local zoos have indicated that they aren't missing any animals. Police are leaning towards exotic pet owners for help. It's estimated that 500 exotic cats exist in Ontario as pets. Police are contacting all owners about their pet's location and are encouraging them to come forward with any information about a missing tiger.

However, authorities aren't discounting other possible theories. Hamilton harbour is a busy international port. It is possible that the tiger could have been transported by boat totally undetected.

"We are exploring every possible scenario," said Sergeant Barrows. "Our concern first and foremost is the safety of the citizens of Hamilton while finding this animal's proper owner or home."

Riley's account was not the first report of the animal. Early sightings began surfacing about the large cat on February 14th, however officials believed the sightings to be large feral cats. Riley's photo changes that.

"With the recent evidence, we have intensified our investigation. A special task force has been created. We are doing everything in our power to track down the animal," said Barrows.

Police may not have to go far to find it.

"These are sophisticated animals," according to author and tiger expert, Jack Zilly. "Their sophistication combined with the number of abandoned buildings in a downtown area and it's not impossible to think that a tiger could create an urban den. Tigers like the darkness as it is and depending on the domestication of this particular animal it may know enough to stay away from crowds or humans and continually avoid detection."

Due to the uniqueness of the situation, the Public Health and Safety Board isn't taking any chances. Many people may be curious about seeing the exotic animal, but authorities are asking residents to resist the temptation.

"Tigers are extremely dangerous animals," said Mike Blum, spokesperson for the Public Health and Safety Board, "they are large, powerful hunters that could severely hurt you. At this point there is no telling what type of mental state the animal is in. As a result, we are taking all necessary precautions."

It has issued a code 3 warning, advising downtown residents to remain indoors and lock all windows and doors. People should be aware of their surroundings at all times and stay alert.

The Public Health and Safety Board has set up a hotline for residents with any information or questions regarding the cat. You can reach them at 1-877-777-PHSB (7472). As well, their website,, features up to the minute reports, videos, and tips for staying safe.

This is the first I ever heard of this........if there is any truth to this, how could a Tiger be lounging around on city streets and the police dogs not be brought out to track it?

sounds fishy to me especially with the amount of former Tiger-Cats names in the mix......Mike Blum, Jason Riley and Jack Zilly.....that in itself is a strange co-incidence

....I think this is a hoax

Funny that there's nothing (yet) about this on either the Spectator or CHCH websites. . .

I think someone has built a life-like dummy Tiger in a lame attempt to create an urban legend Hamilton can call it's own.......Loch Ness monster style

and yes, it's strange the main stream media isn't "biting" on this (pardon the pun)

How far away is the nearest zoo???

More info.


A late april fools prank????


Killman Zoo in Caledonia........10 miles approx.

All Tigers there present and accounted for.

With Sarah Palin coming to town, that cat hasn't got a chance. If she can dress a moose, can you imagine the stunning outfits this poor cat will be forced to wear? Tea party dresses and talking points written on it's paws, it could get ugly really fast. :smiley:

Pat Lynch(the old guy in section 7)

The guy's story falls apart when he said he ran 6 blocks and then when the Tiger didn't chase him, he called police........yet he said all the restaurants downtown were open..........wouldn't you run straight into one of them instead of staying on the street and warn people there is a Tiger outside? 6 blocks downtown is a long way to go before stopping to call police don't ya think?

the guy's story is bogus for sure

10:30 pm - downtown and there was no one else there? Wow, the downtown core is more dead than I thought it was.

Much is odd about this story.

But, that said, this most recent sighting (or hoax) isn't the only one. That PHSB website lists the previous sightings, and there's a certain geographical consistency about them, moving from the first sighting at the RBG to Dundurn Castle, then Bayfront Park, then Chedoke Golf Course, then to various places downtown.

But I'd never heard a word about those previous sightings until today. . . had anyone else heard anything?

Clearly this is some sort of "publicity" thing. 2 things jumped out at me.

  1. There is no Channel 13 in Hamilton
  2. He ran to Jarvis Street. The parking lot is the one that backs onto the Ticats head office.

MJ, I haven't heard a thing. A little odd that all of those sightings are at Landmarks though...

Isn't Chedoke golf course the site of the climb for cancer??

Lot's of "Cougars" downtown at that time of night! :wink:

If a woman is a cougar because she goes after younger men, what is a man who goes after younger woman??

Don't say lucky,smart or normal lol.


He's Dreaming

Is this story refering to the Ticats mascot?

A tiger (in the) woods?!?!?!

It just maybe. But you want to revitalize the downtown core and not scare people off.

LOL!! You guys are funny.

I like it!! I think I'll use that, brox!

Is there still a channel 13 in Brantford? I know there was when I grew up in Hamilton. Even so, why would they be on top of this "story" before CHCH?

And, why run all the way to Jarvis from downtown? That makes little sense. . .