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Panicked New Yorker Reports Tiger On The Loose. It Was A Raccoon

Reports of a tiger on the loose in the streets of New York City briefly sent social media into meltdown mode today. But worry not! Turns out the creature mistaken for a big cat was in fact… drumroll, please… a raccoon. As local media conceded, “they do both have black markings.” (Err, okay!)

The raccoon was captured by animal control, a New York Police Department (NYPD) spokesperson told Patch.com, adding he had “no idea” how the rodent was mistaken for a fierce feline.

“It was a raccoon… That’s all we’re saying about it,” the spokesperson said.

The NYPD got a call about the rogue “tiger” spotted in the neighbourhood of Washington Heights, reports NBC New York. A local television news crew that was at the spot for nearly 15 minutes reported “no sighting of a tiger nor any police.”

Patch.com suggests that an alert sent out by the Citizen app may have contributed to the initial confusion. The app claims to help residents of New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area stay safe “by providing instant notifications of nearby emergencies and reported incidents.”

The app’s Twitter handle sent out this tweet out on Thursday morning:

Weary journalists tweeted about having to confirm the reported tiger sighting with police officials:



The bizarre mixup had Twitter laughing out loud.

“How does someone not know the difference between a raccoon and a tiger,” wondered one person. “800 pound tiger or 15 pound raccoon… I can see how people would easily confuse the two,” tweeted another sarcastically.




In February, police officers in Scotland ended a 45-minute standoff with a tiger once they realised it was… a stuffed toy.

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