The hunt is on to find two camels and a tiger somewhere on the roads of Quebec and Ontario.

The animals went missing east of Montreal after a thief stole a pickup truck outside a motel. The animals were stowed in an attached trailer.

Quebec police say the animals were being transported from a travelling circus in Nova Scotia to a zoo in Bowmanville, Ont.

Two employees were driving the vehicles, and stopped for the night at the motel, 70 kilometres east of Montreal.

Michael Hackenberger, director of the Bowmanville zoo, said the theft occurred between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. Friday morning.

He described the two camels, named Shawn and Todd, as two "delightful" 5-year-olds who like people and provide rides for kids.

"They're real gentlemen, just a pleasure working with them" Heckenberger told CP24.

Jonas, the tiger, was placed in an internal cage inside the trailer. While Jonas has a "very nice disposition" and is well-trained, Heckenberger said, "he still is a tiger."

Municipal and provincial police have set up a command centre and are coordinating the search to find them, he added.

Caretakers say they are worried about the health of the animals, as they could suffer from dehydration and malnutrition if they are not found soon.

Police are searching for a black Ford F550 pickup with an Ontario licence plate of 9091XS. The trailer is an aluminum EBY brand, and has an Ontario licence plate of E4398Y.