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Puma île de Ré

The island of Ré
is not just a heavenly vacation destination, it also has its own history and culture to share with the general public. And the disappearance of the puma named Bill is one of the events that marked his era. The puma’s escape dates back to 1962, but for the locals, it’s like it was only yesterday. This American puma isn’t actually native to the island, as it belongs to the Francki circus, which visited during the summer.

On August 4, 1962, Bill escaped from the island of Ré and terrorized all the locals and the 100,000 vacationers. This runaway feline made the front page of almost every local newspaper. As he escaped from his cage, everyone thought he’d come back. As a result, the keeper watched over his cage at night, leaving meat to trap him. But he had fallen asleep and the meat disappeared the next morning.

Despite the efforts of many experienced trappers, the search went nowhere, until one day he was spotted at La Flotte-en-Mer. Once the vacations were over and only the Rétais were left fearing a terrible confrontation with the wild beast, Bill finally appeared. Bill the runaway had actually taken refuge in a tree in Emile Fèvre’s garden, resting atop a pine tree.

Mountain Lion on moss covered rocks during spring time

Without further ado, a trainer lassoed him, but the animal still refused to surrender. Then a rope was thrown down to draw him down. Six men mobilized to pull the rope and Bill ended up half dead on the ground. He wasn’t breathing because of the noose that had strangled him. After resuscitation with artificial respiration, the runaway finally regained his breath and life. The feline was then returned to the Francki circus.