Over the weekend, Saudi authorities in Mecca launched a search for a tiger allegedly spotted near a highway in Ju'ranah city in Mecca. 

Speaking to Ajel news site, local sources confirmed that the governorate's emergency line received a call from a national who said he had seen a tiger roaming around the area.

After searching the location, police found no trace of the animal. The case has since been dismissed. 

One video of the "incident" has been deemed as fake

After news of the search went viral on social media, several videos began circulating online in which people began claiming they captured the animal sighting. 

One of the clips turned out to be completely unrelated to the Mecca incident and was in fact shot in Oman

The other is said to have been filmed by the person who spotted the tiger in the Saudi governorate. However, this also remains unconfirmed. 

News of the sighting shook Saudi Twitter

"Guys, the tiger turned out to be in Ju'ranah area." 

"Just when I decided to go out for a walk"

"News came out that there's a tiger on the loose in Mecca."

Many reacted to the entire incident with humor

"You really thought a tiger would sit around and wait for a police car to arrive?"

This isn't the first time a wild animal sparks a scare in the Gulf

Even though it remains unclear whether the Mecca tiger is an escaped pet or not, it's not rare to spot a wild animal on the loose in the Gulf. Earlier this year, Kuwaiti authorities captured an escaped pet lion after he was caught strolling on one of the country's highways. 

It is also common for GCC nationals to illegally import wild animals and keep them as pets. Several of the animals kept in such captivity have escaped in the region before. In July, a gorilla escaped from a house in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, ultimately going viral on social media. The animal was on the loose for half an hour before the matter was reported to police.