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Did a tiger really escape the Oakland Zoo during the Sunday protests?

Did a tiger really get free in California?

California Highway Patrol officers block an onramp to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge from people protesting over the Memorial Day death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man in police custody in Minneapolis, in San Francisco, Saturday, May 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
California Highway Patrol officers block an on-ramp to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge from people protesting over the Memorial Day death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man in police custody in Minneapolis, in San Francisco on Saturday, May 30, 2020.
Jeff Chiu, Associated Press

For at least 15 minutes, people on social media believed that a tiger was on the loose in Oakland, California, and they had a field day with it.

What happened:

The Alameda County sheriff’s department tweeted out Sunday night that a live tiger was on the loose in the city as nationwide protests raged throughout the country.

“Reports of a Tiger on the loose near the Oakland Zoo. If you see it call 911. 98th Ave at Golf Links.”

Fifteen minutes later, the department tweeted: “Tigers are all accounted for at the Oakland Zoo. They just checked and confirmed.”

KCBS spoke to the zoo: “An @oakzoo spokesperson confirms to @KCBSRadio that no animals are unaccounted for and all are safely secure in the facility. This follows earlier reports to @ACSOSheriffs claiming a tiger was on the loose near the zoo.”

The Oakland Zoo cleared up rumors not too long after that, saying that the reports were false and that a bus driver had given the information to the police.

The zoo tweeted: “The reports about any of our animals being outside of the Zoo are FALSE. The FALSE report was given by a bus driver to the Alameda County Sheriff. Thank you all for your concern and have a safe night!”

Social media reactions

Of course, social media had plenty of jokes about the tiger getting released. Many of the jokes centered around the “Tiger King” documentary and that it was just another wild news event for 2020.