A tiger was shot dead Friday after escaping a Paris circus, prompting animal rights activists to urge France to ban circus animals, Radio France Internationale reported Sunday.

Mevy, an 18-month-old female tiger, was shot and killed by the circus boss and owner in Paris’ 15th arrondissement after an attempted escape. The tiger was shot three times, Le Parisien reported. The animal reportedly wandered near the Eiffel Tower. The shooting of the tiger, who weighed over 400 pounds, affected public transportation and drew emergency services to the area. People who saw the tiger wandering around the circus called firefighters before 4 p.m. GMT. By the time officials arrived, the tiger was dead.

Eric Bormann, the c owner of Cirque Bormann-Moreno, said he received death threats due to the incident. He claimed to have killed the tiger to prevent damage or harm to a member of the public, emphasizing he shot the tiger in an alley, not a street. According to Bormann, the tiger’s cage was cut open in a “malicious act.” He and his partner said they felt “immense pain” at killing the tiger, who they raised since it was a baby.

“We lost a member of the family. I raised him at home,” Bormann said to BFM TV.

Phillipe Goujon, mayor of the 15th arrondissement, expressed worry about the circus's security which allowed the tiger to escape "in the middle of Paris."

Animal rights activists quickly responded to the incident, with the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, an animal rights group, asking Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot to ban circus animals— an action 13 other members of the European Union have already taken.    

A spokesperson for the Brigitte Bardot Foundation spoke to The Local regarding the Friday events, saying the situation could have resulted in more serious consequences and it was a miracle there were no human victims.

“These animals aren’t getting what they need. They’re depressed because they are trapped in tight spaces and forced to do the same movements every day,” Marie said. “We are already seeing a change in society-- people are starting to question the relationship between humans and animals. France must respond the same way as other countries and ban animals altogether.”

tiger Farewell staling of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baile Circus on May 21, 2017 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The circus discontinued its shows after 146 ears. Many French animal activists are asking for a similar thing: for France ban to circus animals. This debate reemerged after an 18-month-old circus tiger was shot dead by its owner after escaping a Paris circus. Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images