Confirmed: Large tiger escapes photo shoot inside vacant Packard Plant

Tiger found at the Packard Plant. Photo via Andy Didorosi's Facebook page.
Tiger found at the Packard Plant. Photo via Andy Didorosi’s Facebook page.

A large tiger escaped during a photo shoot at the abandoned Packard Plant on Detroit’s east side late this morning, prompting police and wildlife officials to rush to the sprawling property.

Two urban explorers spotted the tiger in a stairwell and posted videos and photos on social media.

What originally looked like a well-conceived hoax turned out to be real, according to police and a Packard Plant employee.

The tiger, along with a wolf and bobcat, were brought into the Packard Plant in cages as part of a photo shoot led by British photographer David Yarrow. Kari Smith, director of development for the Packard Plant, said the photographers were given permission to enter the dilapidated property, but they never mentioned they were bringing exotic, potentially deadly animals.

“This is not something that we would allow to happen here,” Smith told “This is not something that we condone in any way.”

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.