tiger in water
A Bengal tiger in water: two of the dangerous big cats are threatening to break out of a sanctuary in Holland.MJ Boswell/CC

Two adult tigers have escaped from a big cat sanctuary in Holland. While it is reported that the tigers are enclosed in an "unsecure" outer fence surrounding the Felida Big Cat Centre, the two escapees could break through the perimeter and head towards nearby towns and villages, according to reports releases on Saturday, 14 May.

Local police placed the neighbouring village of Oldeberkoop – 87 miles north of Amsterdam and with a population of 1,500 – on lock down while the two big cats, Dehli and Radjah, are roaming. The tigers are thought to have escaped through an open gate, reports Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

Police spokesman Nathalie Schubart, claimed that officers and a vet have the animals in sight and are trying to tranquilise them. She said the successful escape of the tigers would "which would be dangerous for the people nearby", according to a report by Sky News.

Later on Saturday morning, local police tweeted that one of the tigers had been hit with a tranquilizer dart, but it had failed to stop the animal in its tracks.

"Still trying to tranquilize the animals," they then added.

The Felida Centre cares for big cats who are released from circuses and zoos, before re-homing them, primarily in South Africa. According to its official website, Felida plays home to two lions, eight tigers, a leopard and a black jaguar.