Tiger surprises drivers on interstate highway

Scene where authorities gathered after tiger was spotted on I-75 in Henry County, Georgia early September 6, 2017

WGCL-TV

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. -- A tiger that was spotted on the northbound lanes of I-75 early Wednesday morning was shot by officers in a nearby neighborhood, reports CBS Atlanta affiliate WCGL-TV.

A Henry County police officer reported seeing the animal on the highway, and police received several 911 calls about the animal.

Police told WGCL the tiger was shot by officers after it was seen jumping a resident's fence after 6 a.m.

They say they opted to shoot because they weren't equipped with tranquilizer guns and didn't want to wait until the guns arrived.

One person posted a purported photo of the animal on Twitter:

As the school day approached, officers didn't want any children to be in danger as they waited at the bus stop.

Several Facebook friends commented on WGCL posts, saying they saw the animal at some point. A worker at a Hardees location nearby says a man who was in the parking lot told her the tiger was on the loose when she arrived for work just before 4 a.m.

WGCL Facebook friend Connie Kidd says she reported the animal to police around 4:40 a.m. Kidd says the animal was walking through her front yard.

A woman who lives in the area says the tiger pounced on her dog before the tiger was killed. The woman says her dog is OK but was obviously startled.

It's still unclear where the tiger came from, but Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary in Locust Grove says all of its tigers are accounted for.

The sanctuary released a statement saying, "Noah's Ark was contacted by Henry County Police with reports of a loose tiger on I-75. We responded immediately and were on the way to the scene with hopes of chemically immobilizing the tiger and bringing it to Noah's Ark. Unfortunately, human life became at risk and the tiger was shot by the authorities. All of our tigers are accounted for. Thank you to the officers for trying their best to bring this animal to safety."