Missing tiger's owner heartbroken

2010-07-27 14:06

Cape Town - The heartbroken owner of a Bengal tiger that has gone missing in Mpumalanga on Tuesday vowed not to give up the search for his beloved animal.

Goosey Fernandes told News24 that he had microlight planes, helicopters and planes out looking for the tiger, named Panjo.

The game farmer says that an apparent sighting of 17-month-old Panjo just outside Delmas "looks like a false alarm".

Panjo, who weighs 140kg, apparently went missing on Monday night when Fernandes was taking him to the vet.

The animal was sitting in the back of a bakkie and managed to escape on the N12 between Fernandes' farm in Groblersdal and Delmas.

"I put him in the back of the truck. And then I locked the thing up and my wife was actually behind me in another car. We left the farm in Groblersdal and when I got to Delmas I stopped and the back door was open and my cat was gone," Fernandes told Jacaranda FM.

Panjo's owner admitted to the TimesLive that he lets the tiger sleep on his bed and that "he's like a kitten in the house".

"I'm not well. That cat’s going to give me a heart attack," an emotional Fernandes told News24.

The Mpumalanga Wildlife Management Unit and the province's SPCA were out looking for the animal.

An Mpumalanga  wildlife manager, Louw Steyn, said that there is no permit for a tiger in the province.

Do you have any news on Panjo? Let us know.

Or have you spotted him? Then send us the pictures.

  • Karen - 2010-07-27 14:10

    I man i wish he was mine, love tigers and good luck in finding Panjo and let him be in a good condition..

  • Cynful - 2010-07-27 14:16

    Firstly I believe it is cruel to keep an animal like that without a mate, secondly how on earth do you loose such a large animal?? Didn't you check that it was okay while driving i.e. review mirror? I am an animal lover, so I sincerley hope that your kitty turns up sooner than later and that it still well. What is scarey is that the cat does not have any survival skills and is in the open.

  • kay - 2010-07-27 14:18

    Why anyone would keep a tiger as a pet is beyond me!I'm sorry for your loss and all but someone could end up being your kitten's meal today and you are worried about it instead.

  • Drew - 2010-07-27 14:22

    This is just so sad, I am hoping that the man gets a huge fine and possibly some jailtime. That animal will not be able to look after itself and is going to either get shot by a farmer or hit by a car. This man has no right to destroy such a beautiful animal

  • Riana - 2010-07-27 14:27

    I trust that you get your Tiger back This is most unfortunate and I sincerly hope that there are no crazy people out there that will kill or harm him because they are ignorant. I will pray that you get Panjo back safe and sound. Great animal lover.

  • Dipsy - 2010-07-27 14:28

    A good headline for Tiger Woods...."Missing Tiger's owner heartbroken!"

  • mark van zyl - 2010-07-27 14:29

    louw steyn you should get ur facts right cause they are personal friends and the tuger has a permit maybe you should look again and she is very friendly and wont hurt anyone very lovable good luck uncle goosey and just bring her home

  • Theresa Van Zyl - 2010-07-27 14:30

    Justin and all of you, we thinking of you and hope and pray Panjo gets home safe and sound ... he must be so scared!

    Please eveyone keep and eye out, it is the same as your cat or dog going missing but only if you spend almost all day everyday cuddling and training your dog or cat< this is like family ...

  • MarkH - 2010-07-27 14:31

    The only thing I can say to Goosey Fernandes is that he's definitely not well and that he's liable to be even more unwell if his stupid tiger eats somebody. A happy ending to this story would be if Panjo ate Goosey and his stupid wife and his stupid truck..........

  • Made_In_SA - 2010-07-27 14:32

    the tiger might be hiding in the woods near the golf course, take a three iron and Ellen with you...

  • Karen - 2010-07-27 14:34

    This whole event is going to end up in tears. The owner does not appear to have a permit for the animal and the cost of looking for him is going to cost a fortune. I know that wild animals have to be tranported in a specified container/cage and I'm fairly certain a canopied bakkie does not qualify. Who sold this man the tiger because this kind of thing has to be stopped. Either the owner is the most naive human being alive or he's just a moron!

  • Made_In_SA - 2010-07-27 14:35

    the tiger is in the woods near the golf course, take a three iron and Ellen to help you look for it.

  • Jay - 2010-07-27 14:36

    Shame man don't let the tiger leave you catatonic. It must have had the help of a cat burglar. Seriously though, it must be a big worry, and I wish for you to be re-united with Panjo soon. Please post a photo or two when (not "if") this happens, and a pic of him sleeping on your bed, that's so adorable.

  • Sello - 2010-07-27 14:37

    Just lock up the damn owner and throw the keys away. You dont just drive around with tigers in the back - there are rules in the land. He's worried about the tiger, not the community's safety?

  • Gorilla - 2010-07-27 14:39

    How do you lose a tiger? I only hope it doesn't get shot. Idiots.

  • Goose on the loose - 2010-07-27 14:39

    Isn't it a tad bit late for an April fools joke? What a crazy story!

  • CLEOPATRA - 2010-07-27 14:41


  • Mack - 2010-07-27 14:43

    Tigers are not pets, they are wild animals and should be free :/

  • Tjoppie - 2010-07-27 14:44

    Gansie, jy is in groot k@k boeta.

  • Denise Burger - 2010-07-27 14:48

    Hope you find your Tiger I love Tigers

  • platkuif - 2010-07-27 14:56

    wtf? what is the animal doing in Africa in the first place?sjurely this is illegal????????

  • btard - 2010-07-27 14:57

    .."that he had three microlight planes three and helicopters out looking for the tiger"..

  • Big Ant - 2010-07-27 14:57

    Tame tiger or not, someone is going to sh1t themself when they accidentally walk into him. Hope they find him before he get shot accidentally.

  • Johan - 2010-07-27 15:00

    A potential dangerous animal is on the run and all Mr Louw Steyn is ranting about is the fact that there has been no permit for. Get a life Mr Steyn, first put all your efforts in helping to find the animal ALIVE and onle then sort out the paper work.

  • tokkie - 2010-07-27 15:03

    My heart is with u bru - I honestlty hope that by the time i finished writing this comment, you will have found your baby alive and well. I will pray for his safe return as i too love animals more than anything else in the world. Hope u and your baby will be in bed together tonight !!!!

  • Lilian - 2010-07-27 15:08

    I sympathise with the owner, however how did he come to own a tiger and nogal one that can open bakkie doors. What if there is an attack - the poor animal will obviously be killed because people like Mr Fernandes dont appear to have the interst if wild animals at heart. Wild animals are meant to be left in the wild.

  • Steph - 2010-07-27 15:09

    Tigers are not pets!

  • tash - 2010-07-27 15:09

    A kitten!!! i hate these people who think its ok to keep wild animals as pets, you depriving it of what should be a natural life out in the wild. Well guess what’s going to happen in a few days when the big cat get hungry, yes he'll feed and then us superior being will politely say that he has the be "put down"! Yep ultimately this beautiful creature will be killed thanks to our selfish superior attitude. I sincerely hope that he's found before then.

  • Justine - 2010-07-27 15:12

    What I want to know is how this Fernandes bloke managed to obtain an endangered and pretty damn fierce animal? These kinds of animals require very specialised care among other things and this Fernandes guy will be responsible for anything that unfolds, it is grossly unfair to the tiger to say the least, but people are so obsessed with owning something exotic that they dont think further than they can throw grand pianos.

  • reedies - 2010-07-27 15:14

    Mike Tyson's tiger also went missing. Enquire whether there was a bachelors party in the area.

  • daaivark - 2010-07-27 15:18

    This says a lot about how secure the back of the bakkie was. What kind of skaap rides around with a tiger on the back of the bakkie, for Heaven's sake. Big dogs there are bad enough.

  • coco - 2010-07-29 11:30

    the owner should be locked up, not even fined!!
    he is an idiot!

  • Stuart - 2010-07-29 12:59

    He is a total idiot.

  • Paul - 2010-07-29 14:13

    To all who call this man an idiot, tigers hould be taken back, bla bla bla..
    Are you aware that his intention with the tiger and other endengered animals he is intent of acquiring, is to breed them and so be able to put back animals into their normal habitat? Or would you rather have one tiger in a zoo and go visit it till it dies?

  • Maritz Jonker - 2010-07-29 20:01

    It is strange how life works and it is true that you reap what you sow.

    Goosey Fernandes owns BW Tech in Springs. I grew up in Springs and have known Goosey and his son, Jason, for more than 15 years. I always had my BMW serviced at BW Tech receiving the best service from Nigel (Mechanic) and Goosey with his J&B in hand. I actually met Panjo at BW Tech, tearing up his couches and running amok in BW Tech's office. My father even took my 5 year old daughter to see the Tiger at Goosey's Workshop.

    I had my Jeep repaired and asked them to replace the head gasket (quoted at R12000) and sort out any other problems including the power steering that leaked and water dripping under the dashboard. After replacing a whole lot of other parts the total bill came to R21438. My father collected the car and drove to my house
    and on the way realised something was wrong with the power steering. I immediately noticed the harsh sound coming from the power steering pump. The car had 2 big
    scratches and was still dripping water. I returned the car and the owner, Goosey, said they will sort it out, but I will have to get the parts from Jeep directly.
    I got the parts and they replaced it. The powersteering packed up a week before christmas and when I phoned Henk, he said it's impossible and I have to phone Jeep
    Boksburg where I got the part. Jeep informed me that I would have to pay for the part and labour and only after testing the pump will they reimburse me if faulty or not if the part was incorrectly fitted. I contacted Goosey and informed him what Jeep said and that I want my money back from them if they fitted it incorrectly.

    Goosey told me: 'VAT JOU KAR EN VLIEG IN JOU Po3$'.

    Subsequently I had the Jeep's Power Steering Pump replaced and the mechanic of American SUV showed me how BW Tech took a hammer to the brand new pump they had to fit as they most probably did not have the correct tool to fit the pulley. They further missed a piston in the cooling system that seized and nearly blew the head gaskets again. This all costing me a further R10500.

    I can just imagine what costs that are involved in searching for a lost tiger with apparently helicopters and microlights searching. One should really expect the
    worst if you can afford to treat a customer of over 15 years with such foul language and bad service.

    As they say in Afrikaans - "Die Wiel Draai".

    If you have experienced bad service from BW Tech please contact me on or 082 461 7172.

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