NewsSt. Landry Parish


No, there was not a tiger on the loose in Lawtell

Posted at 4:57 PM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 18:29:25-05

LAWTELL — An Acadiana community recently found out how easily misinformation can spread online.

Last week, a photo surfaced on social media showing a tiger on a roadway. Some users claimed they spotted the tiger on Highway 190 near Lawtell.

“I [watched] it cross the road,” wrote one user. "Has anyone else seen or heard anything about this," questioned another.

Within hours, the post was shared hundreds of times. Among the comments were warnings, skepticism, and offers to cook rice.

“I kind of believed the photo,” said Antonio Ledezma. “Then I went through the comments like everyone else does and I don't know. I wouldn’t believe a tiger was around here.”

Some were so alarmed they called 911.

“We did get some concerned calls,” said Deputy Chief Eddie Thibodeaux with the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office. “In this day and age, who knows. But we were pretty sure when we investigated the picture that it was not from St. Landry Parish, in fact it was from India.”

A google image search of the photo in question reveals the image was used in social media posts, and news stories dating back to 2018.

“We can confirm there is not a Bengal tiger in St. Landry Parish,” said Thibodeaux. “Be careful what you share, be careful what you post, be careful what you read.”

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