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The following day, a photo op with Maxwell and Britches in the casino pool began innocently enough. But according to news accounts, the tiger became panicked as it swam in the shallow end; soon the feline was thrashing around to escape the pool. The photographers scattered, but Maxwell didn’t get out of the way in time: Britches pawed her in the legs as he scrambled out of the pool. Maxwell promptly fired the beast. “We’re sending him back to his compound in Thousand Oaks,” she told a journalist. “He’s stealing the show.” 

As a longtime journalist in Southern Nevada, native Las Vegan Andrew Kiraly has served as a reporter covering topics as diverse as health, sports, politics, the gaming industry and conservation. He joined Desert Companion in 2010, where he has helped steward the magazine to become a vibrant monthly publication that has won numerous honors for its journalism, photography and design, including several Maggie Awards.