Officials with Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency are describing the mystery as a “case of mistaken identity.” There was likely never a tiger, but a bobcat.
TWRA spokesperson Matt Cameron told NewsNation affiliate WATE:
“In the dark, in low light conditions like that, it’s very understandable that someone could see a bobcat and have never seen one before and mistake it for a tiger cub… but when you study it a little bit further, you see the short tail on it, you see the spots on it’s outer coat, and you realize that it’s a bobcat. So it’s an easy mistake to make and we have plenty of bobcats around.”
A Knox County sheriff’s deputy was the last to spot the animal on Friday. A trap with rotisserie chicken as bait was set and then later removed after it remained empty for more than 24 hours.