Tale Of A Tiger On The Loose Was A Hoax, Seattle Zoo Says

SEATTLE, WA — Living near the Woodland Park Zoo clearly has advantages — notably you don’t have to fight traffic to get there. On the other hand, there is, apparently, one major drawback: calls warning that a tiger had escaped.

That’s what happened Sunday afternoon.

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Residents and businesses received an automated call — the caller ID even said it was from the zoo — telling them to be careful. Get all the latest information on what’s happening in your community by signing up for Patch’s newsletters and breaking news alerts.

The thing is — it never happened.

“Woodland Park Zoo was recently notified that a local establishment received a phone call falsely appearing to be from the zoo and claiming that a tiger had escaped,” zoo spokeswoman Meghan Sawyer told Patch.

“Our staff immediately determined that our tigers were secure and the report to be false.”

Q13, which first reported the story, said that the zoo has never had a tiger escape.

Sawyer says that the zoo has detailed routines to make sure that it never happens.

Woodland Park Zoo has a comprehensive plan for emergencies. Animals are kept under 24-hour care and surveillance and our highly-trained emergency response team is prepared to deploy if needed. Security and public safety come first—both for the public and our animals.

The zoo, which believes that a “spoofer” — someone who hacks in and hijacks a phone number — reported the incident to Seattle Police, which is investigating.

File photo of a Woodland Park Zoo tiger via Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo.

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