Tiger Con

By CodingStrategies on August 14th, 2018

A short story titled “The Tiger and The Traveler,” tells the tale of villagers who set a trap, catch a tiger and place him in a cage. They put the cage by the side of a main road so that all people passing by can see the wicked tiger who had attacked the villagers, and killed both cattle and children. This put the tiger in a bad position: he was not provided with food or water, even though he very politely requested each from everyone who passed by the cage. He also asked (politely again) to be released, promising that he would not take the life of his rescuer. Nobody in the village believed the wily tiger and not one person even considered releasing him.

Eventually, a kind traveler stopped to listen to the tiger’s story and agreed to help him, after clarifying that once released, the tiger would not attempt to dispatch him. However, once freed from the cage, the tiger desired only to kill and devour his rescuer. The traveler pleaded for his life, reminding the great predator of his promise to spare him. The tiger refused to listen, saying only that he was very hungry and man was his natural prey.

A fox that was passing by the cage heard the entire exchange, and wondered aloud whether such a big tiger could possibly fit into such a small cage. The tiger took offense that his story of cruel confinement was questioned and resolved to demonstrate his prior captivity. He quickly entered the cage, but when the tiger turned to show that he had won the argument, the sly fox closed the door behind him. The traveler had learned a very valuable lesson, and left with both his life and the fox for safer provinces.

On February 6, 2018 authorities were called to a farm in the northeast part of Scotland belonging to Bruce Grubb, because the owner thought he saw a jungle cat lurking in his cow shed. Mr. Grubb immediately called the police and officers arrived on scene, but cautiously remained in their vehicles to determine the best strategy for dealing with a tiger. The police also checked with a local wildlife park to see if there might be an escaped tiger terrorizing the countryside. Mr. Grubb stated that he got quite a scare when he saw the big cat, and was worried that a predator this size would kill all of his cows before the police successfully terminated it. Pictures of the resting tiger were sent to the police control room, and an expert sergeant confirmed that the predator was real.

However, after a 45-minute armed standoff with the alleged beast, Grubb inched closer in his truck, only to find that the animal was in fact a large stuffed toy. Mr. Grubb was hosting a small housewarming party at the time, and denied that alcohol impaired his judgement in any way. He stated that he was “stone cold sober” because he had nearly 200 pregnant cows in the barn, all due to calve at any moment. Mr. Grubb claimed he did not know who placed the stuffed tiger in the barn, but assumed it was a joke.

The police concluded that the false call by Mr. Grubb was made with “genuine good intent,” and asked the embarrassed farm owner if they could keep the stuffed tiger as a mascot. Although it turned out to be a stuffed toy, there can be serious injuries during encounters with real tigers! For example, consider the following ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes (depending on whether you are classifying the tiger as a cat or other type of mammal):

W55.0- This subcategory lists codes for bitten by, scratched by and other contact with cat
W55.8- This subcategory lists codes for attacks by other mammals

There is also an ICD-10-CM code for fear of tigers:
F40.218 Other animal type phobia

And, in the absence of a real tiger, the following code could be reported for a fear of stuffed animals:
40.298 Other specified phobia

Regardless, in this case all’s well that ends well. Or in the words of Hank Green, an American entrepreneur, musician, educator, producer, vlogger, and author:

Hoaxes are nothing new. News media isn’t hard to fool. It’s fun to fool, and people like to mess with people. It all goes to show you that we’re not all that hard to fool. I think we should accept that and just trust people anyway.

Or as opined by the Senate Majority:

Fortunately, it was a hoax and there was no damage other than inconvenience done, but we need to be better prepared.