Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Big cat makes a scene at Coquina Beach

There's going to be a retirement bash Wednesday night for Jay Moyles, the affable chief of Manatee County Marine Rescue.

The stories? There will be many, collected over a 31-year career.

Like this one.

Jay was in a lifeguard stand at the south end of Coquina Beach when there was screaming.

Not an unusual sound to his ears, which were always attuned to someone in distress.

Except it wasn't one person.

There were lots of people screaming --- and running.

Running right toward Jay's lifeguard stand.

"I get down to see what the heck was going on --- and there's a guy walking a tiger!" he said. "It was a circus guy with bleach blond hair and this tiger was huge."

Keeping a safe distance from the feline, Jay asked the gent what exactly did he think he was doing?

The man said he loved the beach and the water and so did his big cat.

"Can he go for a swim?" the fellow asked.

Uhhhhh, no.

"I told the guy we don't allow dogs on the beach, never mind a tiger."

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