- The Washington Times - Monday, March 27, 2023

A pair of tigers briefly escaped from their enclosure in rural Georgia over the weekend after the zoo suffered damage from severe weather that spawned a tornado nearby.

The Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain said Sunday that both of the big cats had been “found, tranquilized, and safely returned” following their brief romp outside of the zoo. Safari staff said that neither the animals nor their employees were hurt during the recovery operation.

News of the missing tigers first came from the Troup County Sheriff’s Office early Sunday, when they said the zoo reported that a tiger “is unaccounted inside the park.” The sheriff’s office announced about two hours later that the second tiger had been found.

Wild Animal Safari is a drive-through park that has more than 75 animal species on 300 acres of land, according to its website. Guests can view the tigers in a more conventional “walkabout” section of the zoo.

At least 26 people were killed during the storms that hit parts of the Southeast over the weekend, causing the White House to declare a federal emergency.

Parts of Troup County were under a tornado watch Sunday morning due to the intense weather.

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

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