We’ve had tigers in Harlem before, but Patch reports that residents of Washington Heights woke up Thursday to unconfirmed reports that a tiger was roaming the streets of their neighborhood. After police responded to the West 160s near St. Nicholas Avenue, the true cause of concern was revealed to be a raccoon.
The raccoon was contained by animal control around 8:45 a.m., an NYPD spokesman said. The spokesman said he has “no idea” how the rodent was mistaken for one of the jungle’s fiercest predators.
“It was a raccoon,” an NYPD spokesman said. “That’s all we’re saying about it.”
One source of the false report appears to be the Citizen app. Citizen tweeted: “We’re trying to confirm this report of a tiger loose in Upper Manhattan” around 8:30 a.m. Thursday.
The Citizen app describes its mission as “to keep people safe and informed” by “empowering the city of the future, building new ways to bring people together, creating a safer world, and democratizing 911.” The application alerts users to nearby police and fire happenings it picks up on scanners.