TUTTLE, Okla. -- It was the hashtag heard around the web. People went wild after a tornado swept through Tiger Safari Zoological Zoo in Tuttle last month. Social media users coined it Tigernado.
"We had different media crews from all over the world calling us wanting to know if we had animals out. I don't (sic) know what I was going to find 'till I got out here," Park Director Bill Meadows said.
But it wasn't the tigers who were left to deal with Mother Nature's wrath...it was a black bear.
"The wind almost toppled it over on this habitat, which would have compromised the structure of the cage," Meadows said.
No animals got out, but the bear enclosure sustained extensive damage. A terrifying ordeal for an animal that’s pretty scary on its own.
"He was hanging out outside of the house scared to death just like most of the animals were," Meadows said.
New rafters were put in. The entire bear habitat was damaged in the May 6 tornado.
They had to transport Smokey to the GW Zoo in Wynnewood until they could get this fixed, but now the owners are happy that he is back.
"We brought him back last night. We were able to sedate him with a mild tranquilizer and bring them here, and basically celebrated because the narcotics wore off before we even got to the zoo so he was able to just walk out of his cage and into his habitat," Meadows said.
Meadows says it cost about $50,000 to fix the damage, but he's thankful it wasn't worse.
"There's a lot of people I (sic) have a lot more needs than us. People that have families that I know in the immediate area," Meadows said.
To like “Tigernado Tiger Safari Zoological Park” visit their Facebook page.