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article imageTwo escaped tigers returned to Dutch refuge: police

By AFP     May 14, 2016 in World

Two Bengal tigers that escaped Saturday from a big cat shelter in the Netherlands have been recaptured after about four hours on the loose, Dutch authorities said.

The two tigers named Radja and Delhi were found roaming the wooded area near the refuge from which they escaped by crawling under a fence, ANP news agency reported, citing local police.

Veterinarians equipped with tranquiliser guns and police helicopters had launched an urgent search around the northern village of Oldeberkoop for the felines.

After several attempts to capture them, the animals were anaesthetised and confirmed to be "in a very deep sleep," Jan Graafstra, a police officer involved in the operation, wrote on Twitter.

Several men then carried the two big cats, each weighing around 150 kilos (330 pounds), back to their cages in the refuge in big cloth sacks with carrying handles, Dutch public television NOS reported.

A police officer stands guard in Nijeberkoop  northern Netherlands on May 14  2016 during a search t...
A police officer stands guard in Nijeberkoop, northern Netherlands on May 14, 2016 during a search to find two tigers that escaped from a big cat shelter
Jacob Van Essen, ANP/AFP

"There was never any danger for local residents," who had been warned about the escaped tigers, local mayor Harry Oosterman told ANP.

The Felida big cat rescue centre takes in animals in need of protection from possible abuse or neglect as those of advanced years.

Radja and Delhi originally came from a private German zoo, whose cash-strapped owner could no longer afford to feed them.

The goal is to eventually transfer them to a sanctuary in South Africa.

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