The tweets came from @SEASU_Copters, an account for South East Air Support Unit’s police and ambulance helicopters with more than 2,000 followers.
The police prepared zoo employees, a helicopter and tranquilizers to catch this loose tiger, but it turned out the tiger was just a stuffed animal. They also “shut down a major highway,” according to USA Today. iMediaEthics notes the continuing caution required by journalists when reporting on breaking social media stories.
Despite questions of wasted resources, the police responded via Twitter that it was reacting to “great concern for the public” had a tiger actually escaped.