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Tennessee Deputy Sparks Massive Cat-Hunt After Spotting Loose Tiger

Adding to the mystery are statements from two local zoos claiming that all of their animals are accounted for.

Where’s Joe Exotic when you need him?

Authorities in The Volunteer State are urging residents to be on the lookout for a sleek and deadly predator this week after a local law enforcement officer found himself face to face with something extraordinary.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office issued a be-on-the-lookout notice late Wednesday after a deputy reported seeing a tiger wandering in the Forks of the River Industrial Park. Tiger Haven, a big cat sanctuary in Kingston, Tenn., was involved in the search for the missing big cat, but it remained unclear whether or not that’s where the tiger initially escaped from.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is leading the search effort alongside Knox County Sheriff Patrol Units, Animal Control, Air Watch as well as the Knoxville Police Department’s Animal Control Unit. If found, the big cat will be taken in by Tiger Haven.

Tiger Haven has claimed that all of their animals are accounted for, and a nearby zoo also issued a statement.

All the tigers at Zoo Knoxville are accounted for, zoo spokeswoman Tina Rolen confirmed Thursday. The zoo is not involved in the search.

“We want to reassure everyone that our Zoo Knoxville Malayan tigers Arya, Bashir and Tanvir are all safely accounted for. Our team is standing by to assist if needed. If you have information please contact the Knox County Sheriff’s Office,” she said in a statement to WATE.

As of 8:30am on Thursday morning, the deputy’s experience was still the lone sighting of the potentially dangerous big cat.

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