Steve Sipek: Former ‘Tarzan’ Actor Whose 600-Pound Tiger Escaped In 2004, Dies.

Steve Sipek and tiger Bobo

Palm Beach County’s very own Tarzan, Steve Sipek, died in a North Florida hospital last week, a man who never outgrew the bitterness of losing his Loxahatchee wild animal oasis.

The Croatian-born Sipek first came to fame as the B-movie actor, Steve Hawkes, playing Tarzan in action movies shot around the world. Then, at the age of 63, he became locally infamous when one of his pets, a 600-pound tiger named Bobo, got outside the gates of his five-acre Loxahatchee compound in the summer of 2004.

After learning that the tiger had been killed Cheryl Churchill and her daughter Kassidi speak to friends of Steve Sipek and the media in front of Sipek’s home, July 13, 2004. While her daughter holds up picture of Churchill feeding one of Sipek’s tigers and sits with stuffed tiger in her lap named Bobo, Churchill explains how upset she is that the tiger is dead.

After learning that the tiger had been killed Cheryl Churchill and her daughter Kassidi speak to friends of Steve Sipek and the media in front of Sipek’s home, July 13, 2004. While her daughter holds up picture of Churchill feeding one of Sipek’s tigers and sits with stuffed tiger in her lap named Bobo, Churchill explains how upset she is that…

For 26 hours, the aerial and land manhunt for Bobo went on, captivating and terrorizing his neighbors, while Sipek begged the searchers not to harm his tiger. Sipek desperately wanted to be the person who found his pet. But instead, it was a frightened wildlife officer who fired five shots with an M-4 rifle, killing the tiger and sending Sipek into a spiral of grief.