Picture of tiger in Tijeras causes Facebook frenzy

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TIJERAS, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque man took a photo of what appears to be a tiger while he was mountain biking near Tijeras.

The photo has gotten a lot of attention online. People have been cracking jokes. Others are worried. The sheriff’s office even thought it could start a panic.

“Definitely, a tiger or something. A lion or something with stripes,” said Al Radzka.

“Wow, this is potentially scary if it’s real,” said Kaveh Mowahed.

An Albuquerque artist snapped the picture and posted it on Facebook earlier this week. He claims he thought he saw a tiger by a bike trail near Tijeras.

“Well, tigers aren’t really native to this part of town, so I don’t know what to think about that,” said Phillip. “How did it get here?”

“It just seems so crazy,” said Mowahed.

The post got tens of thousands of views and a lot of comments.

One person posted, “Maybe Mike Tyson is on vacation in the canyon.”

Another person said, “I don’t think I want to go hiking anymore.”

News 13 asked around to find out what really was in the picture. We called New Mexico Game and Fish, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and Bernalillo County Animal Control.

Turns out, it is a tiger in the picture, but it’s a plastic tiger.

According to officials with the Sandia Ranger District in Tijeras, a group of people were doing some cleaning on the mountain years ago when they spotted the statue.

Instead of trashing it, they say they brought it back to the office and put it near a hiking trail.

Officials said they haven’t heard any concerns until a picture of the statue wound up on the internet on Wednesday.

Originally, the ranger district said it thought the tiger was stolen from Los Lunas High School because that’s the school’s mascot. They later found out it wasn’t stolen.

Rangers said they threw the tiger away Wednesday afternoon to avoid any more trouble.

The guy who took the tiger picture never got back to News 13.To read all of the comments, go to the News 13 Facebook page»

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