Time is almost up for Suzie, Vancouver Islands' Bengal-Siberian cross tiger.

Last year, Highlands, B.C., resident Dave Bennett purchased the tiger from a nearby animal sanctuary.

The female tiger was bred in captivity to one day be housed in a private zoo - but a number of zoos had rejected her on the basis that she was unsuitable for captive breeding.

After Highlands mayor Mark Cardinal petitioned the B.C. Supreme Court, Bennett was ordered to relocate Suzie to a more acceptable location.

"It's in the better interest for the tiger, and the best interest of the community if it's taken away," Cardinal said.

The deadline for her transfer was set for June 16 at midnight - but so far, Bennett has yet to find a suitable location to house the nearly 400-pound cat.

If the tiger remains at his home overnight Bennett will be violating a Supreme Court injunction, but he maintains that he will do only what's best for the tiger.

"At this point on, if they want to punish me for saving this cat's life, so be it," he said Tuesday.

Bennett had an 1,800 foot fence constructed to house the animal - at an expense of approximately $10,000.

The B.C. SPCA isn't directly involved with the case, but the organization has a clear standard in regard to caging exotic animals.

"They should be in the wild," Victoria SPCA branch manager Penny Stone said. "And if they're going to be in captivity, they should be in an accredited zoo; places that can care for them and meet their needs."

"You can't meet their needs in a backyard."

Apart from critics at the SPCA - and his nervous neighbours - Bennett says he has received 1,000s of letters in support for Suzie.

"If it wasn't for me, this cat would be a rug in someone's living room right now," Bennet said.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Jim Beatty