Just in case you are wondering about the pet tiger belonging to Ben Ali's 30-year-old son-in-law, Mohamed Sakhr el Materi – it has been killed. There's an unpleasant video here if you want to see. Materi himself fled Tunisia last week, reportedly to Paris.
Rumours of the tiger's existence were confirmed in 2009 by US ambassador Robert Codec during a lavish dinner at Materi's home, later reported in a WikiLeaks document. Ambassador Codec learned that its name was Pasha and that it consumed four chickens per day.
A comment in the WikiLeaks document says: "The situation reminded the ambassador of Uday Hussein's lion cage in Baghdad." Indeed.
Posted by Brian Whitaker, 16 Jan 2011.