Zebra, monkey — and now tiger — among Atlanta's weird animal sightings

Zebra, monkey — and now tiger — among Atlanta's weird animal sightings

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Henry County Police Department
A tiger was shot and killed after wandering loose around a suburban Atlanta neighborhood and attacking a dog.

Wild animals causing chaos in metro Atlanta happens more often than you might think.

Remember those times when a zebra, water buffalo, cow and a venomous rattlesnake got loose? How about that time a research monkey went missing in Gwinnett?

We do, and we’ve compiled a list of some of the area’s most memorable wayward animals going back all the way to 2007.

September: A tiger was shot and killed after wandering loose around a suburban Atlanta neighborhood and attacking a dog. The 6-year-old Bengal tiger, identified as a circus performer named Suzy, managed to escape from a transport truck carrying 14 of the big cats from Florida to Tennessee.

August: A bear sighting on the Suwanee Greenway caused nearby Suwanee Elementary School to limit outdoor activities for students. Students were not allowed on the playground, and the principal sent a notice about the bear and the safety measures to parents.

June: An 11-foot reticulated python, at once feared and beloved for a series of escapes from his home in East Atlanta Village, was finally shipped to a South Carolina breeding facility. In one instance, a woman discovered Monty around 1 a.m. under her porch.

March: A rabid coyote attacked a Roswell man on his morning run and bit his leg. Tests revealed the animal, who was euthanized, had rabies. The incident happened just days before the start of a statewide challenge to kill coyotes began.

December 2016: Alpharetta firefighters freed a deer whose antlers had become entangled in a hanging object. A video shows the animal running around the tree in an effort to get loose.

December 2014: A Siberian lynx attacked a woman while she was feeding the cat at a private kennel in Buckhead.

April 2014: Authorities searching a home in Woodstock for drugs found a tegu, a type of black and white lizard that can grow to up to four feet long. 

Sept. 25, 2013: Four hogs terrorized residents of a DeKalb County neighborhood. After unsuccessful attempts to catch the wayward pigs, animal experts planned to place traps, baited with a mix of dog food, molasses and corn, in the neighborhood to help corral the animals.

Sept. 19, 2013: Not one or two, but three black bears were spotted taking a leisurely walk through a Cumming neighborhood. Resident Jeff Adler snapped some pictures, but stayed in his car.

Sept. 16, 2013: For months, drivers traveling near the intersection of I-75 and I-675, near the Henry-Clayton county line, spotted what they believed was a bull. Nope, not a bull. Kevin the Cow was corralled and tranquilized before being moved to safer pastures.

May 2013: A 3-foot alligator clamped down on the arm of a trapper as it was captured in Gwinnett County. “There’s a gator bite for you,” trapper Jason Clark said.

March 2013: For more than 24 hours, a 7-month-old water buffalo roamed Barrow County after escaping from her new home. “Precious 8” was spotted by a driver, who called police and the animal’s owner, who was relieved to get the water buffalo home.

September 2012: An alligator took up residence in a lake in Lawrenceville. Authorities suspected an alligator that far north did not get there on its own, but started out as a pet that someone dumped in Dunlin Lake.

May 2012: A Cherokee County homeowner called 911 after spotting a black bear on the back steps of her home. The bear stomped the ground before retreating to the woods.

April 2012: A bobcat was spotted by employees outside the Carrollton Water Treatment Plant. Bobcats are typically reclusive, but this one was so bold, she was spotted during the daytime with the help of a trail camera.

November 2011: Just days before Thanksgiving, a turkey flew to the parking lot of a Marietta gas station and then walked inside. A police officer watched the fowl play and removed the bird from the store before any feathers were ruffled.

June 2011: A research monkey went missing from Emory University's 117-acre Yerkes National Primate Research Center Field Station in Lawrenceville. Dozens of calls came in from people claiming to have seen the 2-year-old, 5-pound female rhesus monkey, including several from counties other than Gwinnett.

March 2011: Forget chickens crossing the road. In Milton, it was wild turkeys fowling up traffic for two days in the Arnold Mill Road area.

February 2011: Police officers and animal control officials searched several days for a former pet pig spotted along I-75 in Cobb County. Days after this little piggy was captured, it was adopted by a new family.

October 2010: A deer was rescued from a Cherokee County swimming pool just days after a buffalo was removed from a pool in White County.

August 2010: A venomous rattlesnake was missing for two days from Zoo Atlanta before being found dead about 100 yards away on a front porch. Turns out, a resident in the area had no idea where the snake belonged and beat it to death.

February 2010A zebra traveling with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus caused a commotion downtown when it escaped during the evening rush hour. It was captured on the Downtown Connector. Lima, the 12-year-old zebra, was euthanized the following month due to its injured hooves.

February 2010: A bison fell off a truck on I-20 eastbound, breaking its legs in the fall. The animal had to be euthanized.

October 2009: A 6-foot, 9-inch wild alligator was spotted along I-85 in Coweta County. State DNR officials transported the gator to a swampy home in Pike County.

In April 2007, a zebra was found injured and grazing on the side of a road in Spalding County. Rescuers named it “Evidence.”

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A tiger was shot down after it attacked an area resident’s dog in Henry County. (Erica A. Hernandez/AJC)

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