East Tennessee tiger search called off

Mid-South

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (NewsNation Now) — A dayslong search for a tiger in the woods of southeast Tennessee has been called off.

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.

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