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Town warns tiger on loose near Disneyland Paris, residents of 3 towns urged to remain indoors

11/13/2014 10:11 EST | Updated 01/13/2015 05:59 EST
PARIS - French authorities say a young tiger is on the loose near Disneyland Paris, one of Europe's top tourist destinations, and have urged residents in three towns to stay indoors.

The town of Montevrain sent out a news alert on its Facebook page Thursday saying a young tiger was spotted in the brush behind some tennis courts and a soccer field. The field is about 9 kilometres (5 1/2 miles) from Disneyland Paris.

Around 60 police, fire and other security forces were trying to track the tiger, said Cedric Tartaud, chief of staff for the Montevrain mayor. The tiger is estimated to weigh around 70 kilograms (154 pounds), Tartaud said.

Police were using a helicopter to help search for the animal, and a wolf-catcher was also drafted in to aid in the search, Seine-et-Marne authorities said.

Police and rescue squads at the scene have roped off a security perimeter, authorities added and urged people living in Montevrain, Chessy and Chalifert to remain indoors. If they had to travel, police advised them to stay in their cars.

The Parc des Felins, a wild cat animal park about 18 miles from Montevrain, said in a statement on its website that all of its animals were accounted for and the escaped tiger didn't come from there.

EuroDisney, the operator of Disneyland Paris, said it has no tigers in the theme park, so the errant cat could not have come from them either. It wasn't immediately clear if any extra precautions had been taken inside the park.

Disneyland Paris calls itself Europe's No. 1 tourist destination with 14.9 million visits in 2013.