Alleged Loose Tiger in Swansea evades capture, sightings


No, this is not the mysterious Sandy Run tiger! It’s a female Bengal tiger from the Kanha National Park in India. Photo by Charles J. Sharp CC BY-SA 4.0

The Clemson mascot may not be far from home, as a “large cat” was seen by multiple people in the Sandy Run area. Sandy Run lies in between Calhoun County, Swansea, and Gaston, around a 24-minute drive away from Hammond.

Though too close for comfort to Sandy Run K8 School, Hammond is too far walking distance for a tiger.

The most recent report, arriving Tuesday, March 15, 2022, was from a young boy who saw a tiger leap over his fence.

Along with the police, many residents from the area have been found attempting to “keep their community safe,” by looking for the mysterious cat.

Four separate reports have been received by the pol

ice since this weekend, each reporting that the large cat was indeed a tiger.

Another possibility is that the cat was an Eastern Cougar, which have been found in South Carolina before.

The other possibility is that the animal is not a tiger, but an exotic breed of cat that escaped from an owner’s home. African Servals look much more like a wild animal than a typical house cat.

While News19 claims that no evidence of a tiger has been found, other sources claim that large cat footprints have been discovered.

As crazy as it is, it isn’t unbelievable that someone could have released a pet tiger that got too large. Sandy Run, where the tiger has been spotted, is riddled with farms. Though illegal in South Carolina, tigers have been kept as pets in other states, shown by Tiger King’s Joe Exotic.

Releasing exotic pets is not a problem that only South Carolina faces: Florida has issues with chameleons and boa constrictors as invasive species from owners releasing them when they cannot care for them anymore.

Due to lack of evidence, the search was suspended on Wednesday, March 16. However, the sheriff encourages residents to stay safe and aware and to keep watch of kids and small pets.