Loose tiger killed by police in Georgia, animal's origins unknown

By Ben Hooper
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Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Police in Georgia said a loose tiger spotted running around the Atlanta area was shot and killed by officers, but its origins remain unknown.

The Henry County Police Department said an officer spotted the tiger in the northbound lanes of Interstate 75, near Jodeco Road, early Wednesday and police subsequently received multiple 911 calls about the animal being spotted in various locations.


Police said the tiger was shot and killed by officers just after 6 a.m. after it jumped a fence into a resident's yard to chase a dog. Police said they were concerned a resident might exit the home before they could get tranquilizer darts and they were also concerned about area school children getting up for the morning and coming outside.

Journey, the family dog chased by the tiger, was unharmed.

Area residents reported spotting the tiger in multiple locations stretching back to before 4 a.m. Wednesday. A worker at a Hardees restaurant said a man in the parking lot when she arrived for work just before 4 told her about the tiger spotted in the area.


Local resident Connie Kidd said the tiger wandered through her front yard about 4:40 a.m.

Police said the tiger's origins remain a mystery and are under investigation.

The Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary confirmed that all of its tigers were accounted for. The sanctuary said police had earlier contacted officials about the possibility of housing the big cat if it had been captured alive.

"Noah's Ark was contacted by Henry County Police with reports of a loose tiger on I-75," the sanctuary said in a Facebook post. "We responded immediately and were on the way to the scene with hopes of chemically immobilizing the tiger and bringing it to Noah's Ark. Unfortunately, human life became at risk and the tiger was shot by the authorities. All of our tigers are accounted for. Thank you to the officers for trying their best to bring this animal to safety."

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