The Knoxville Tiger: A New Bigfoot

Whenever I see an image of Rhodes students back in Memphis chilling with their roomies, I get a little pang of jealousy. I mean, I can’t complain too much about being back at home in New Orleans for the semester. I see my dog everyday; I eat non-Rat food; I shower without shower shoes. Plus, the commute to class isn’t too shabby. But I think the biggest upside to being home and not in Memphis is that there’s no tiger on the loose in my state.

According to Knox News, there were a few sightings of a tiger wandering around Knoxville on September 10. And you might think that Memphis is 391 miles away from Knoxville, how could a tiger being on the loose there have anything to do with Memphis? Well, the thing is the tiger has not been found. 

There is a chance that the tiger is fictional--that it's only a conspiracy. Could this be the new Bigfoot? But the Knoxville Tiger has a Twitter account, and would Twitter let a fictional tiger have an account? I think not. Unfortunately, the Tennessee government does not understand this logic and has naively called off their search for the tiger since neither the Zoo Knoxville nor Tiger Haven, a nonprofit big cat sanctuary in Roane County, have reported a missing tiger. 

Another support for calling off their search: “no one was boasting publicly about losing a deadly cat that, for your average Joe,” even Joe Exotic, “is illegal to own in Tennessee.” So I guess the logic here was that no one would dare break a law that outlaws owning a certain animal. In Tennessee. Which ranks top among states for animal trafficking.

So clearly, there’s a tiger on the loose, and it might be heading to Memphis. It might even already be in Memphis. It takes 5.5 days for a human to walk from Knoxville to Memphis, and a tiger can run at 35 miles per hour. You do the math. I’m not going to because I’m too lazy, but my guestimate is that things aren’t looking great for all you lucky folks in Memphis. 

In the meantime, at least, I won’t have to worry about a tiger. Not down here, 395 miles away. All I have to worry about are alligators, which live only a few minutes from me and have a very real presence here. But I’m sure they are much more approachable than tigers.