Detroit Bus Company founder Andy Didorosi set off a flurry of media insanity with a video he posted to Instagram yesterday. We've seen video of the Packard Plant. We posted a video of the Packard Plant…yesterday. How is Didorosi's different? There's a freaking live tiger in his. A world-renowned photographer and his crew got permission to do a photo shoot inside the plant. They didn't get permission for the two wolves, tiger and bobcat they set loose there. Didorosi for his part is using his newfound fame for a good cause and using all the media attention to help animals—he's calling for donations to a Detroit animal rescue group, Dog Aide.
Didorosi was called into what he referred to as "not my situation" to scare the tiger out of the stairwell it holed up in so that it could be safely captured and removed from the long abandoned factory. Didorosi and local photographer Tony Barchock (an image of whom with lawn tools pointed at the tiger has been widely circulated via social media) helped drive the tiger towards its handlers who got it whisked it away to safety.
We can try to describe this, but the video does the heavy lifting. You have a guy gesturing at a fully grown tiger with a weed whacker. Welcome to Detroit, photographer who thought this was a good idea. We're just glad no one was hurt.
Addendum: We received a tip that the company that provided the tiger, Animals of Montana, has had at least one fatal incident involving the creatures under their charge. In 2012, a 24-year-old Animals of Montana trainer was killed by a grizzly bear, and the company was cited by OSHA and fined $9,000. Animals of Montana owner Troy Hyde convicted in 2005 for illegally trafficking tigers. We saw this as a weird story with some elements of humor involving the Packard Plant, a site near and dear to Detroiters that we all want to see developed and remediated. This isn't funny. Calling it dangerous and cruel is an understatement. It the photo the Detroit Free Press culled of the tiger from the photographer's Instagram (since made inaccessible, so we can't link it here), the animal lies on a pile of rubble, with its paws extended awkwardly. We're not tiger experts, but perhaps broken concrete isn't a natural turf for subtropical wildlife. And maybe when things got out of hand, calling in Team Weed Whacker was irresponsible, dangerous and an affront to Detroit.
·Detroit Bus Company [Detroit Bus Company]
·That Detroit Andy [Instagram]
· An actual tiger gets loose in Packard Plant in Detroit [Detroit Free Press]
·Andy Didorosi [Facebook]
·Detroit Dron Video Shows City's Potential [Curbed Detroit]