The New York Zoo hoax
The New York Zoo hoax is also known as The Central Park Zoo Escape and the Central Park Menagerie Scare of 1874. It was a hoax perpetrated by the New York Herald about a supposed breakout of animals from the Central Park Zoo on November 9, 1874.
The article warned that dangerous animals were loose in the city, with casualties of 49 dead and 200 injured. Many readers panicked, even though the end of the story stated "the entire story given above is a pure fabrication." The authors later claimed their intent was merely to draw attention to inadequate safety precautions at the zoo, and claimed to be surprised at the extent of the reaction to their story.