Saturday, 26 May 2012

Washington State Tiger Search - via Chad Arment

KOMO Staff 
May 24, 2012

PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Animal control officers have come up empty so far in their search for a reported tiger on the loose just outside of Puyallup.

A man called police Thursday afternoon to report he saw a tiger in his backyard at his home in the 4400 block of Gay Road, Pierce County Sheriff's officials said. A second call came in a short time later from another home on the same street, also reporting a tiger sighting.

"I was checking on the corn crop I had planted and I did see a cat -- fairly large -- and they're telling me it's a tiger," said Travis Johnson.

He estimated the cat weighed about 200 pounds.

"I thought it was going to kill my livestock or my neighbor's livestock, that's what I was thinking," he said.

He went inside and got a gun.

"It's a big cat, it could take you out. It could take anything out. It's no joke."

But someone sure thought it was. As news of the tiger on the loose spread, someone placed a stuffed tiger atop a van on nearby River Road, prompting several 911 calls from worried residents, said department spokesman Ed Troyer.

Police had the stuffed tiger removed, but that's not to say they aren't having their fun too:

"The reports of (Tigger) being missing are not true. We have confirmed that with winnie the pooh!" Tweeted Troyer. Followed shortly by: "Our animal control guys say they won't have to shoot the tiger if its found. They are trained to catch him by the toe!" Next, a photo of a stuffed tiger atop a patrol car.

A Twitter account also popped up shortly after the news broke, purportedly being updated by the missing tiger himself.

"Hope I don't go to gig harbor," @Puyallup_Tiger tweeted. " I got no cash for the toll on the way back."

Internet clues aside, officials aren't sure where the tiger would have even come from.

"We don't know anybody who owns it," Troyer said.

He says no one of authority has actually seen the loose animal with their eyes.

Maybe they should just check their Twitter account instead?


Tiger sighting reported in Pierce County

Staff report

After searching for over three hours for an alleged Bengal tiger on the loose, deputies are calling off the search.

A couple reported seeing a Bengal tiger loose just ten yards away from them in their unfenced backyard.

Detective Ed Troyer with the Pierce County Sheriff's Department said that four animal control officers are out with deputies searching for the animal in unincorporated Pierce County near Puyallup. He said it's a rural area near a river.

By going through photos with the couple that spotted the animal, they've determined that it could be a Bengal tiger.

After reports of the alleged tiger surfaced, one person took to Twitter and became the @Puyallup_Tiger. Others reported seeing a stuffed tiger on the side of the interstate.

Deputies asserted that the siting of the tiger was real, and not to be confused with stuffed animals that had quickly gone on display.

Troyer even had fun with a tiger of his own, posting a photo of a large stuffed tiger on the hood of his vehicle. "I found the tiger waiting on the hood of my car. He doesn't like cameras and wanted a ride home," Troyer said on Facebook.

Officers believe that it could be someone's exotic pet. "Another thing that we're hearing is that some people take their animals and dye their hair colors and cut their hair to look like big game. That's a new fad," Troyer said.

According to Troyer, they have seen other exotic pets in the county before, including alligators and kangaroos, but this would be the first tiger.

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