The owner of a 9-month-old tiger found roaming in a Texas suburb last week has surrendered the cat to officials, according to the Houston Police Department on Saturday night.
“We are happy to report that the missing tiger seen in a Houston neighborhood last week has been found and appears to be unharmed,” the department tweeted.
The tiger, named India, was immediately placed in the city’s animal shelter and is expected to be transported to the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch wildlife sanctuary on Sunday, CNN reported.
Gia Cuevas and her husband, Victor Hugo Cuevas, are the owners of the tiger.
Gia Cuevas brought the animal to authorities Saturday and is not facing criminal charges at this time.
But HPD Commander Ron Borza emphasized in a news conference Saturday night that it is illegal, as well as a bad idea, to keep tigers as pets in Houston.
“In no way, shape or form should you have an animal like that in your household,” Borza said. “That animal can get to 600 pounds. It still had his claws, and it could do a lot of damage if he decided to.”
ABC News said India weighs about 175 pounds.
The presence of the tiger was first reported to police by citizens who saw it and alerted their neighbours through the Nextdoor app that the massive cat was on the loose.
Victor Hugo Cuevas, 26, was seen approaching the animal and carrying it into the building where it had seemingly fled.
When officers arrived to investigate, Victor Hugo Cuevas left the scene with the tiger.
He is also being held in jail for felony evading capture. His bail was later withdrawn on an unrelated murder conviction from 2017.
When Victor Hugo Cueva was jailed, India was not there.