The missing Houston Tiger who is safe will go to the sanctuary
A Bengali tiger that has been missing in Houston for a week and has given hundreds of tips on its possible whereabouts has been found safe.
“The tiger appears to be in very good health,” said Houston Police Department commander Ron Borza a press conference on late Saturday.
The 9 month old, 175 pound animal named “India” was wears a turquoise, jeweled collar and is bottle-fed in a video posted by the HPD in which Borza and a woman identified as the wife of the tiger owner were seen petting and cuddling the animal.
“Commander, it’s been a long week,” someone says to Borza in the clip.
“It really was like that,” laughed Borza, “but we have him and he is healthy.”
India was spotted in a neighborhood on May 9, creating tension with neighbors as he roamed and stayed in the front gardens.
By Saturday, a “concerned citizen” in contact with the Indian owner’s wife, identified as Gia, contacted the local animal shelter, Borza said, and helped turn India over to authorities.
Borza said he had Gia come with him when India was brought to the shelter “because of the stress the tiger has been through in recent weeks. He was obviously excited… The animal likes attention.”
“It wasn’t found,” added Borza. “It was brought to us.”
“The tiger was passed around a bit, but in the end Gia always knew where the tiger was,” he said. “If it wasn’t with her, she knew where it was.”
No charges have been filed and police have no knowledge of how alleged owner Victor Hugo Cuevas, 26, came into possession of India, Borza said.
“We didn’t get into that,” said Borza.
“In no way should you have an animal like this in your household,” he warned, noting that it can reach 600 pounds when fully grown. “It still had its talons and it could do a lot of damage if he chooses to. Fortunately, he’s very tame. “
On Sunday, India is slated to drive to the Cleveland Armory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, about three hours north of Houston.
“He’s going to a sanctuary tomorrow where he’ll hopefully spend the rest of his life in a very safe environment,” said Borza, adding, “This thing turned out really well.”
“I think the public thought it would be easy to catch a tiger,” Borza mused. “But it wasn’t like that at all.”