Errant report of loose tiger livens up social media

Amid the bad news of violent demonstrations and COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders Sunday night came a story of a different stripe, but one that ultimately was more growl than substance.

About 8:40 p.m. Sunday, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter said that there were reports of a tiger having escaped its enclosure at the Oakland Zoo, and that it was seen near the zoo at 98th Avenue and Golf Links Road.

That prompted a head count by zoo employees, who about an hour later announced that all tigers were accounted for, and that Alameda County had one less thing to worry about. (The zoo remains closed during the COVID-19 pandemic).

But the matter hadn’t been settled before Twitter had a field day with it. “Oakland Zoo” was trending on Twitter for a time, and you couldn’t swing a dead cat on social media without hitting a photo, gif or other reference to Joe Exotic or Carole Baskin, the heroes/villains of the TV miniseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”

There had already been enough madness in the Bay Area for one day, it seems.

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