AROUND THE STATE: Is a tiger running wild in Houma? It's a social media rumor, police say.

Staff Report
Mike the Tiger, LSU's live tiger mascot, lounges in his habitat near Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. A social media rumor has spread throughout the Houma area that a tiger was running wild.

Reports have been circulating on social media platforms about a tiger supposedly on the loose in or around Houma, but police say it's just a rumor.

According to USA Today Network sister publication the Houma Courier, the reports began circulating late Sept. 8 on Facebook and Twitter after a man thought he saw a large dark cat in his backyard.

Houma Police Chief Dana Coleman told the publication it might have been a bobcat, but even that is uncertain. He said his department is in contact with the Terrebonne Sheriff's Office and animal control to investigate.

Coleman said social media reports and phone calls claim a tiger was roaming in at least three spots: Downtown Houma, somewhere along Hwy. 182, and a location adjacent to the city. 

If authorities do find a bobcat, they will try to relocate it.

The social media chatter caused a panic as law-enforcement agencies received calls asking about circuses and illegal trafficking of exotic animals. Both Houma Police and the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office told the publication those rumors don't hold weight.