Airport Takes Boy's Lost Stuffed Animal Tiger on 'Great' Adventure in Florida
Hobbes got to nap in a hammock, eat gelato and visit the control center.
— -- A stuffed animal tiger named Hobbes recently went on a “great adventure” at Tampa International Airport in Florida after being accidentally left behind by his young owner.
Owen Lake, 6, traveled to Houston with his parents earlier this month, and was “distraught” after realizing he lost Hobbes, the airport said in a statement.
Owen and Hobbes were reunited this past Thursday, when Owen flew back to Tampa, where staff surprised the boy with a photo book of his favorite tiger’s vivid adventures at the airport while away from his owner, the airport said.
The book was filled with photographs of Owen at various parts of the airport, including him outside by the air traffic control tower, napping in a hammock by the Marriott pool and riding a luggage cart -- among other things.
The photos came along with humorous captions, such as, “Can't lose these fantastic muscles while I'm on vacation!” next to a photo of Hobbes working out at the airport’s employee gym, according to ABC News affiliate WFTS.
A previous lost stuffed animal adventure inspired an airport operations manager to take Hobbes on his own escapades, the airport said.
"I pitched this idea a couple of months ago after I saw a similar idea where someone took a stuffed lion around a museum,” said Airport Operations Center manager Tony D’Aiuto, who noted that all of the photos were taken during his lunch hour. “This seemed like the perfect opportunity.”
Airport staff said they presented Owen with the book immediately after he and his family landed and got their luggage.
“It was very, very sweet,” said Owen’s mother, Amanda Lake, who cried when staff showed up with the hardbound book. "We already told him over and over that Hobbes was on an adventure so it was nice to get back and show him that Hobbes really had been on an adventure.
“Thank you to everyone at Tampa International Airport who took such great care of Hobbes,” his mother added. “It was such a nice surprise.”
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