Two men took to social media Monday to announce they were corralling a live tiger inside the city’s historic Packard Plant.
Kari Smith, director of development for the Packard Plant, confirmed the tiger was inside the plant as part of a photo shoot along with two other large cats. The animals came from Animals of Montana, based in Bozeman, Montana.
Smith told reporters the tiger got away from the photo shoot. She said the crew did get a permit to work in the plant but did not tell plant officials that they intended to bring a tiger into the building.
The Packard security guards noticed “they had a large cage, so my security guards investigated the issue, called me immediately, I went out there and closed them down,” Smith said.
The trainers took the animals back to their cages, she said.
There were 15 people involved in the photo shoot, which was being held by David Yarrow photography, according to Smith.
They had permission for a basic photo shoot.
There hadn’t been any mention of the animals. A tiger, wolf and a bobcat had all been inside the plant.
“This is not something that we would allow to happen here,” she said. “This is not something that we condone in any way.”
Animals are not allowed on site at any time, she said.
Smith said there are no loose jungle cats in the building anymore.
In an unbelievable series of Facebook posts, Andy Didorosi, a Detroiter who runs The Detroit Bus Company, unraveled he and Tony Barchock’s efforts to rid the abandoned plant of a stray tiger.
The Detroit Police Department said Monday at noon that they had “no information” on any tiger in the Packard Plant.
At 12:08 p.m., police were on the scene.
MLive could not reach Didorosi for comment, but a video posted to Facebook and Instagram shows one of the men trying to scare the big cat out of a stairwell. What looks like a fake tiger turns and swats at the device one man uses to try to scare it.
The tiger does growl as it swats at the man before the video ends.
Here’s the video Didorosi posted on Instagram Monday:
Hey all. Update: This wasn’t my situation, it was a British photographer that brought these animals here. I got a call to help after it was already out of hand because I was close and have tools – no tiger experience. The order from the handler was to motivate him downstairs towards the handlers. He wasn’t having it. I don’t support wild animals loose in our city without permission and strict control. This had neither. #tigerwatch15
Tigers now officially scariest thing ever.
— Andy Didorosi (@ThatDetroitAndy) August 17, 2015
At 12:09 p.m., Didorosi said on Facebook that the Tiger was secured.
The photo shoot was held on the far south side of the Packard Plant.
The crew would not be receiving a refund for the shoot.
Smith said she wasn’t sure if the men who posted the photos to social media were involved in the photo shoot.
The crew claimed they had a permit from the City of Detroit to have the animals on site, but that doesn’t matter.
The crew was out of the plant by 10 a.m., Smith said.
The following video shows the crew scaring the tiger out of a stairwell inside the Packard Plant.
Smith said she had expected a “standard photo shoot with models.”
A local photographer, going by Slim Spidey, also posted photos on Instagram.
The Detroit Zoo was not involved and did not come out to the scene, according to a spokeswoman.
Smith said the group was supposed to shoot at the Packard Plant for two days, but it’s been canceled.
There were two animal trainers on-site.