“#Tennessee officials hunting for tiger on the loose in Knoxville”
September 10, 2020 | 12:46pm
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy saw a big cat with stripes, between 150 to 200 pounds, roaming Wednesday night near Forks of the River Industrial Park.
There were also unconfirmed tiger sightings reported in the southeastern part of the county near John Sevier Highway, authorities said.
The Knoxville Zoo assured animal lovers that all of their tigers were accounted for on Thursday — leaving others puzzled about where the beast might have come from.
“There are cougars and things like that native to the area of course, but they’re a bit more slender than what was described,” said Mary Lynn Parker, of Tiger Haven, an animal sanctuary in Kingston helping with the search, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.
“Of course it’s illegal to own a tiger in the state of Tennessee. But that doesn’t stop people. There’s a lot of interest since the ‘Tiger King’ series.”
The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency is now leading the search and a trap has been set up to catch the animal.
If the culprit is found, it will be taken to Tiger Haven, the wildlife agency said.
“We have all the proper equipment to transport and house a tiger,” Parker told the newspaper. “So if it was caught we’d have been able to load it in the truck and bring it to the sanctuary.”
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