MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The mystery of the tiger who was found wandering along an Atlanta interstate before heading for a nearby neighborhood has been solved.
According to reports, the 6-year-old Bengal tiger named Suzy was being transported from Tampa, Florida to Memphis when the driver stopped for the night in Georgia. The company contracted to move Suzy, Feld Entertainment, said they didn’t realize she was missing until they arrived in Tennessee.
But drivers along Interstate 75 in Henry County certainly didn’t miss the feline.
Captain Joey Smith with Henry County police told CNN they received numerous calls starting around 4 a.m. stating the tiger was on the interstate. It then moved into a residential area with officers close behind, monitoring the situation until Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary could arrive and safely remove the tiger.
Unfortunately, they didn’t arrive in time. Suzy reportedly jumped Brittney Speck’s fence and attacked her Dachshund Journey.
“I fell to the ground crying because my husband was screaming because the tiger had jumped on top of my dog,” she told reporters. “By the time (the tiger) had jumped on my dog, the officer had started firing rounds.”
“When the tiger became aggressive toward pets in the area, it was deemed necessary for public safety to put it down, and it was done quickly and humanely,” Department of Natural Resources spokesman Mark McKinnon said.
The animal sanctuary released a statement on Facebook thanking the officers for at least trying to protect the animal from harm.
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Authorities said the tiger’s owner has been in contact with them.
He said Suzy, a former Ringling Bros. Circus performer, was scheduled to be flown to Germany to join another circus.