Rumor creates bizarre scare in New York City.
It was around 8 a.m. when phone calls started coming in to 911 about a wild animal roaming the streets. The callers claimed it was a tiger was in the streets near West 162 and St. Nicholas Avenue. At the same time, a Citizen Alert app tweeted out a warning to local residents about the sighting.
— Citizen (@citizenapp) April 12, 2018
Obviously this type of call brought out a large law enforcement presence including reportedly, helicopters.
There was just one problem. It wasn't a tiger. When officials found the animal, it wasn't a tiger, it was a raccoon! Whoops. Obviously the story then became the punchline of the day across social media.
Me: you got anything on a tiger in Washington Heights?
NYPD spokesman: not a tiger. it's a raccoon.
Me: for real?
NYPD spokesman: dead serious. welcome to Thursday morning.
— Alex Silverman (@AlexSilverman) April 12, 2018
someone really thought they saw a tiger roaming the streets in washington heights when it was just a raccoon and I just wanna know what they were on and where I can get some
— gen dietzel (@gendietzel) April 13, 2018
You're gonna tell me my roommates and I (in Williamsburg, Brooklyn) were all rudely awakened bY a helicopter overhead because some idiot in Washington Heights (Manhattan)
MISTOOK A RACOON FOR A MF TIGER?!?!
— Shwax (@Shwax) April 12, 2018
Washington Heights should get the permanent 'L' of 2018 for confusing a Raccoon with a Tiger.
— Russell Lopez (@RussLopez212) April 13, 2018
As for the raccoon, it was its unlucky day. It ended up getting captured by officials and put down due to concerns about rabies.
Perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised someone in the city made this mistake considering all the fuss over the Harlem deer two years ago. New Yorkers and wildlife certainly make for an interesting combination!