Durban – It took guts for Rassie Erasmus to kill Sheba, a cub his mother raised from the time she was three days old.
Sheba escaped from a private farm enclosure in Walkerville, south of Joburg, on January 13.
Erasmus told TimesLive that while he was against the idea of owning tigers, he promised his mother after her death, that he would care for Sheba.
He said big cats were his mother’s passion.
“This animal is not going to stay as small as it is, it is going to grow,” Erasmus told TimesLive.
He was unsure where his mother got Sheba from.
He told TimesLive that allegations that Sheba was pregnant were untrue because she was neutered.
“The plan was never to breed them, but to keep them because she had a passion for cats,” Erasmus told TimesLive.
Sheba killed two dogs and a pig during her escape and mauled a 39-year-old man.
Flora Maseko said she came face-to-face with the tigress moments after it mauled William Mokoena.
She said she shouted voetsek at the tigress.
Erasmus said it took guts to shoot a tigress he raised.
However he told TimesLive he would have hated to see anyone else shoot her.
“Wild animals belong in the wild.
“The SPCA movement remains opposed to the keeping of wildlife in captivity.”