|Photo: Knox County Sheriff's Office. My thanks to the Daily Mail|
A tiger is on the loose in Knox County, East Tennessee, USA. They have no idea where it came from. A local zoo has confirmed that their inventory is complete and that none of their Malayan tigers have escaped the facility. The tiger concerned was seen at the Forks of the River Industrial Park on Wednesday night by a police officer, as I understand it.
Location of tiger on the loose:
Since that first sighting there have been multiple reports of sightings of the tiger overnight around John Sevier Highway followed by another sighting at 7 a.m. on Thursday morning near Thornegrove Pike.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is leading the search for the big cat. That was the state of play on Thursday this week. They've set a trap using chickens as bait in an area where the cat was last seen.
Once they have caught the it they will take it to Tiger Haven a rescue centre for big cats in Kingston, Tennessee.
Comment: it appears that this is not a tiger that has escaped from a bona fide "proper" local zoo and therefore readers have to conclude that it has escaped from a private "zoo". They can be very small. The zoo maybe someone's backyard. There may be just two animals. and the tiger may be "domesticated" and someone's pet! There are many thousands of private zoos in America and there are more tigers in America than there are in the entirety of the rest of the world in the wild.
For me it is slightly amusing although I don't wish to offend anybody. This is because in the UK there are frequent big cat sightings and it is somewhat of a joke because there are no big cats in the UK. There are no private zoos of the type you get in America and I don't think we've had a tiger escaping any zoo for many many decades. If ever. So if somebody sees a big cat in East Tennessee in a field and they photograph it, we can be sure it is real and it will be great to be able to say that. So many big cat sightings are just fictions, the result of fear and sometimes bad news days for the media.