Escaped Tiger Snarls Morning Commute On Qatar Highway And Becomes Social Media Star

The animal is believed to have been an escaped pet.

Motorists in Doha, Qatar had more than rush-hour traffic to contend with on Tuesday morning. They also shared the highway with an escaped tiger.

One clip appeared to show the tiger falling off a truck. It was not clear if the big cat had come from the truck or was trying to hitch a ride and failed:

The tiger quickly became a sensation online, with photos and videos shared on Twitter and Facebook.

In one video, a man could be heard saying he was recording the scene only for him, not for social media. Of course, the clip showing the tiger's capture ended up on Twitter:

Although it's not clear how the tiger ended up on the highway, it's believed the animal was an escaped pet.

Doha News reported that tigers, lions and cheetahs are popular pets, despite being illegal. The Ministry of the Interior told the newspaper that the owner of the tiger had been identified, and legal proceedings will be initiated.

Keeping a tiger as a pet is punishable with fines of up to 10,000 rial ($2,750 U.S.) as well as up to six months in prison.

In a similar incident in 2010, a tiger escaped near the city's popular Landmark Mall. The event sparked the Doha Tiger account on Twitter, which sprang back to life upon hearing the news of another big cat on the loose in the city.

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