Officials investigate reports of tigers -- yes, tigers -- loose in Manatee County


The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating a report of tigers possibly sighted running around Thursday night near Myakka City in the area off Crosby Road.

Yes, tigers.

The caller said they saw three or four large cats — possibly tigers — running loose around 7 p.m., according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s spokesman Dave Bristow said deputies and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers are searching the area, which is 13 miles east of Lakewood Ranch and near State Road 70.

"The MCSO does not have a confirmed report of a tiger sighting," Bristow said. "We have no reports of anyone in that area who is missing tigers."

The Sheriff’s Office did not explain who in the area has tigers that could have gone missing. But the area is also known to have bobcats, coyotes and other animals.