Boy's lost toy tiger has awesome adventure, thanks to this airport's kind staff

A stuffed tiger named Hobbes went on quite the adventure after his owner accidentally left him at Tampa International Airport.

When 6-year-old Owen Lake realized he'd lost his best pal while flying with his family from Tampa to Houston on June 6, his mom immediately called the airport, and it wasn’t long before the janitorial crew found the beloved toy near the children’s play area.

Courtesy of Emily Nipps
The lost toy tiger made the rounds at the airport after he was left behind.

“We don’t always rush to find a lost item, but it sounded like Hobbes played an important role in Owen’s life,” Tony D’Auito, Airport Operations Center Manager, told

Courtesy of Emily Nipps
He got quite the tour of the Tampa airport, thanks to a friendly staff.

Once Hobbes was in D’Auito’s hands, he was reminded of a story he'd read a few months ago about a museum in England taking a lost stuffed animal on a photo shoot.

Courtesy of Emily Nipps
He rode the luggage cart.

It looked like the staff had had fun with the project, so D'Auito proposed the idea to his coworkers and they were all on board.

Courtesy of Emily Nipps
He checked out air traffic control.

And so, Hobbes went everywhere. He checked in with an airport ticketing agent, monitored air traffic control, worked out at the employee gym, ate some gelato and took a ride on a luggage cart.

Courtesy of Emily Nipps
His adventures were later turned into a photo album chronicling the day.

“It felt a little awkward being a grown man walking around with this stuffed animal, but people were so excited to help out,” D’Auito said. “They took ownership and got creative in ways I couldn’t have.”

Courtesy of Emily Nipps

D’Auito was so inspired by the airport staff’s creativity that he went home that night and organized the photos into a book and added captions to create a storyline.

Courtesy of Emily Nipps
He checked out gelato.

He picked it up the next day from Walgreens and the special scrapbook of the toy's adventure was waiting with Hobbes when the family returned to Tampa on June 11.

Courtesy of Emily Nipps
D’Auito put together this album with all of the tiger's adventures.

Owen came to the lost and found area eager to reunite with Hobbes, having no idea he was in for such a sweet surprise.

Courtesy of Emily Nipps
Owen was thrilled to be reunited with his toy, and to receive the album.

After hugging his pal, Owen scrolled through the book smiling from ear to ear while his mom cried.

“I’m happy I was able to give the boy a gift and didn’t know how much fun I’d have doing it!” D’Auito said.