A tiger has been shot dead after escaping from a circus in Paris.

It roamed the streets causing "intense panic" before it entered a train station in the 15th arrondissement of the city.

Terrified passengers heard the announcement: "A tiger is on the loose, please vacate the station".

One witness said: "There were people running and screaming. It was a very big, fierce looking animal."

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Circus employees initially gave chase with a pole and piece of meat, but then told police to "use live bullets".

The tiger entered a train station where it posed a threat to rail passengers' before armed police arrived and shot it dead, reports Daily Mail.

"He had entered a railway station, leading to its closure," said an eye-witness who lives in the area.

"There were fears that the tiger would hurt railway passengers around the Garigliano Bridge. That's where he was cornered and then shot dead."

The alarm was raised at 5.50pm. Armed police were then seen heading to the scene, together with the tigers' owners.

At 6.10pm the same announcers said: "The incident on line T3a is over, and traffic has resumed."

A spokesman for the Paris police prefecture said: "The animal has been neutralised. All danger is gone."

It is not yet clear how the tiger escaped.