HOUMA, La. (WGNO) — Rumors are swirling on social media and now the Houma Police Department is on the lookout for a potential tiger.
“I was coming here and my fiancé texted me and said apparently there is a tiger running around downtown,” said Philip Spence, a Houma resident.
The rumor allegedly started on Facebook. That’s where Nakisha Theriot found it. She works in Downtown Houma.
“I saw it going around Facebook last night that there were sightings, “said Theriot. “We weren’t too sure I mean it’s Houma who has a tiger around here? I don’t know!”
According to officials, a person claims to have seen a tiger in Terrebonne Parish, right outside Houma city limits.
Houma Police Department Chief Dana Coleman says they’ve gotten several calls about a sighting of a “big cat” in the area.
The story of what was actually seen has evolved as the day has gone on.
“Supposedly it was down the road by the mall and then worked its way up downtown, then 182 and it’s kind of traveling,” said Theriot.
Investigators are currently in the process of gathering evidence and information to identify the person(s) responsible for this incident, as well as a motive. No additional details are currently available.
“It’s a pet, it’s a panther, it’s a tiger.. it got loose from the circus in Thibodaux, made its way to Houma, we don’t know,” said Riley Pitre.
It’s a tale that’s spreading like wildfire.
“Everybody is trying to figure out where it came from,” said Pitre.
The rumors have even made their way to the schools.
“We had representatives from our school system calling asking should we put the kids on the school bus – is it true?” said Chief Coleman.
That’s the question – is it true? Or all just a rumor?
One thing is for sure, whether it was a tiger, bobcat, or even a stray cat – social media has made it’s impact on this case.
At this time, Houma Police Department officials say they have not laid eyes on a tiger in the area and have not seen any proof of one either.