Don't cross the black and yellow lines: Tennessee prankster has drivers doing a double take

Regular Interstate drivers are used to seeing the occasional broken down car by the side of the road, or a chancing hitchhiker - or even a lurking police cruiser.

But motorists on the I-75 in McMinn County got the shock of their lives when they spotted (or is that striped?) a full-sized tigress and her little cub lounging on the guardrail.

One such bemused driver put in a call to the local TV station. Expecting them to hang up on him for being a crank caller, the driver told reporters what he thought he saw.


Tigers of Tennessee: Someone left near-life-size toys of a tiger and her cub next to the I-75 in McMinn county, causing a few raised eyebrows among drivers


Blending in: From a distance the toys look like garbage by the side of the road. It's only when drivers got close enough that they recognised the 'wild cats'

Out by the southbound lanes of I-75, he began cautiously, there would appear to be a tiger looking after her little one.

Always keen for a good story - and this one sounded too good to be true - the station dispatched a camera crew and, sure enough, there was the tiger on the guardrail with its cub nestled by its side, both casually watching the traffic.

It turns out, however, the wild cats turned out to be stuffed toys that a local prankster had left out to give drivers a bit of a shock.

McMinn County 911 said they received several similar calls from motorists who fell for the jolly joke. 

Beverly and Tony Poma

Do they have tigers down here? Beverly and Tony Poma were on their way from their native Michigan to Florida when they spotted the tiger in Tennessee

Before the film crew had turned up, the 911 centre had already sent a deputy to the scene to make sure the animals were not real.

Michigan resident Beverly Poma, who was in the car with her husband Tony and some friends on their way down to Florida, said she almost went through the roof when she saw the big cat.

She said: 'We were driving and I go, "Oh my gosh. There's a tiger on the fence".

'I thought it may have escaped from a circus or something.'

The tiger and cub were still watching drivers pass by as the sun went down. No word yet about who may have put them there.

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