The devil in Seattle’s suburbs: a tiger on the loose!


Sightings like this in Pierce County? (via Wikipedia)

Last month, I described Pierce County, immediately to the south of the county containing Seattle, as the West Coast equivalent of Long Island, N.Y.  That’s the suburban stretch of land running east from New York City so full of strange doings that The New York Times once ran a long magazine story entitled “The Devil in Long Island.” My post described Pierce County’s many bizarre murders, assorted other outrages and weird stuff, including the capture of a loose wallaby.

Now, if reports are to be believed, there’s a loose tiger. Right now!

As I type this, the Tacoma News Tribune and other media outlets are quoting the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office as saying a “Bengal tiger” is on the prowl. The sheriff’s office–several members of which, it should be noted, were recently convicted of perjury–got calls from witnesses in east Pierce County near the town of Puyallup, about 30 miles south of Seattle.

Authorities are rushing to the area while ordinary folk are rushing to Twitter. The hashtag @Puyallup_Tiger is trending with purported animalistic postings like, “I don’t care how hungry I am.. I’m not eating dogs… Or arbys.”

I just heard on the radio someone from the zoo in Seattle express doubt that there really could be a tiger on the lam in Pierce County. But the expert said it probably would be a good idea for residents to get off the street.

To me, New to Seattle, this is totally believable in Pierce County, although it may say as much–or more–about the mindset of the locals. As I wrote in April, the devil lurks in a lot of places.

UPDATE at 7:45 p.m.: A just-posted News Tribune story begins, “By early evening Thursday, at least three tigers were prowling around Puyallup.” I think this is the paper’s way of saying authorities now doubt there were any.

Follow William P. Barrett’s work on Twitter by clicking here.

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One Response to The devil in Seattle’s suburbs: a tiger on the loose!

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