Puyallup 'loose tiger' still a mystery, continues to tweet on the run

May 25, 2012

PUYALLUP, Wash. — Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer says there have been no new reports Friday morning of a tiger on the loose near Puyallup. However, the reputed tiger is still posting away on its Twitter feed and others have been having fun online with the "loose tiger."

Deputies and animal control officers searched an area Thursday afternoon after a man tending to his chicken coop said he saw a tiger. Travis Johnson told The News Tribune it was a large cat, blond in color with black stripes. He says it was not a coyote, which he has seen before.

Troyer said a second person also reported the sighting.

Troyer said yesterday the sighting in Puyallup on may have been a bobcat, or possibly a tiger kept as an illegal pet. But either way, the cat appears to be long gone and animal control and sheriff's officers have moved on.

One witness reported seeing a 200-pound cat with black stripes.

"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," Travis Johnson told Seattlepi.com. "I thought it was going to kill my livestock or my neighbor's livestock, that's what I was thinking.”

Some of those calls were traced to a prank. Troyer says someone perched an authentic looking stuffed animal on top of a van after the first tiger sighting was reported.

Deputies told local media that the sighting of the tiger was real, and not to be confused with stuffed animals that had quickly gone on display.

“We’ve seen kangaroos, and alligators and vipers and everything else in Pierce County,” Troyer told The Tacoma News Tribune. “If there is a Bengal tiger here and that’s actually what it is, it’s gonna be somebody’s exotic pet that got out.”

Twitter fun

After the initial report, the social network tool Twitter exploded with humorous (and some informative) "tweets" or posts. At least one Twitter feed was purported to be from the tiger itself on the run, and many others tweeted using various "hashtags" associated with the reported tiger.

The tiger is still on Twitter at @Puyallup_tiger, however and has, so far, more than a thousand followers. This morning the tiger tweeted his (her?) location:

The tiger appears to also be into sports, judging by a few tweets:

  • @710ESPNSeattle @BrockandSalk Gutless move by the Mariners. Shed the deadweight already.
  • @RainiersLand I'd love to see Carlos Peguero hit a bomb!

He/she has also apparently found a home:

  • I've finally found Tiger Mountain. I've come a long way from Bacon Shakes, smoke shops to the river. I think ill make this my new home.

A few fun tiger tweets from yesterday:

@shmulyt: To clarify; the lost tiger is different than the drunk cougar from happy hour.  #BengalTiger #tigerhunt #puyallup

@mariachong: Seattle trying to compete. @wsdot_traffic Hearing reports of turtle blocking traffic on I-90 near MP 41. #tigerhunt #tacoma @puyalluptiger

@shmulyt: The lost tiger was raised in Seattle. It weight 200 pounds and is wearing Birkenstocks with socks. #BengalTiger #puyallup #tigerhunt

@wwbaker3: Tiger on the loose in Puyallup? Somebody call Ace Ventura. #tigerhunt

And now for the survey: