Sheba tiger

Rassie Erasmus and his pet tiger Sheba that was killed on Wednesday morning 18 January 2023.
Image via Facebook: Rassie Erasmus

‘Was it necessary?’: Tweeps react to death of Sheba the tiger

‘Killed for acting like a tiger’: Tweeps have reacted in anger to the death of Sheba, who was shot and killed after escaping captivity…

Sheba tiger

Rassie Erasmus and his pet tiger Sheba that was killed on Wednesday morning 18 January 2023.
Image via Facebook: Rassie Erasmus

The death of Sheba the tiger – who had been on the loose in Johannesburg South – has elicited anger and outage after she was shot and killed on Wednesday morning.

The animal had been missing after it escaped its enclosure on a small holding in the Walkers Fruit Farms area.

But after becoming a social media sensation, tweeps are calling her death “cruel” and “avoidable.”

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According to News24, Sheba, the tiger, was located and euthanised in the early hours of Wednesday morning. This after her movement was tracked via a search party which included her owner Rassie Erasmus.

Sheba was found on the Arboretum Farm, just 2 kilometres from where she was kept in a cage.

Community policing forum representative Gresham Mandy defended euthanising the wild tiger in a statement. He told the publication: “Due to the terrain and area, it was not possible to contain her or secure her safely.”

“At 03:45, the decision was made to euthanise her while it was still safe to do so. Unfortunately, at that moment in time, darting her was not an option. Sheba had moved during the night across the hills to the west side of Fruit Farms, bringing her close to livestock and other residents in a more densely populated area.

He added: “This was not an easy decision to make at the time, and the safety of the community of Walkers Fruit Farms was a priority.”

During her time on the loose, Sheba had attacked a pig, two dogs, and a 39-year-old male.


Following Sheba the tiger’s death, many Twitter users shared their anger and disappointment. Many believed that the animal should never have been held in captivity and that all efforts to save her life should have been taken.

@GodPenuel: “Sheba The Tiger was killed for acting like a tiger……while we allow owners to recklessly keep wild animals captive in spaces they should not be in. Killed for being yourself.”

@LifeOfMikeZA: “Heartbreaking to hear Sheba the Tiger that escaped in Walkerville was killed last night. Humans are disgusting.”

@carlolinks: “You cannot blame Sheba, for being a wild animal, in Africa. Blame the owner and his negligence and arrogance.”

@dillylibrarian: “RIP Sheba, so sorry you had to suffer because of some fool’s ignorance.”

@dgtager: “Was it really necessary to kill Sheba, the tiger? Surely she cud have been darted and then relocated to a place of safety.”

@MaS1banda: “The captor must take necessary measures to prevent harm by the animal. Killing the animal isn’t holding the captor accountable.”