Don't Lose Your Tiger's Head

Big cat’s head fell off the back of a truck in Lakemoor

People have seen all kinds of random things on the side of the highway. Pieces of a blown-out tire, abandoned vehicles, and even the occasional "roadkill." (Ew.) But how'd you like to be the person in Lakemoor who found a tiger's head?

A severed tiger's head was found near the intersection of Routes 12 and 120. A passing motorist saw the head Thursday and brought it to police in a milk crate. Authorities have not released the name of the person who found it.

Later that same day, Lakemoor police were contacted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who had the name and address of the head's owner… er, rather, the tiger's owner.

The tiger's head had reportedly fallen off the back of a truck which was delivering it to a taxidermist. Police don't yet know if the tiger had been hunted or if it was once a pet.

While it is illegal to buy, sell, transport, or receive such wildlife across state lines or the country's borders, the Captive Wildlife Safety Act does not outright ban ownership of lions, tigers, and other big cats.

Nineteen states do, however, prohibit private possession of dangerous felines. Illinois law states that "no person shall have a right of property in, keep, harbor, care for, act as a custodian, or maintain in his possession any dangerous animal except at a properly maintained zoological park, federally licensed exhibit, circus, scientific or educational institution, research laboratory, veterinary hospital, or animal refuge in an escape-proof enclosure."

Still, the question remains … what would possess a person to pick up a tiger's head on the side of the road?

Matt Bartosik, editor of Off the Rocks' next issue and "between blogs" blogger, thinks taxidermy is a little creepy.

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