Tiger found roaming Houston neighborhood
HOUSTON, Texas — Neighbors were shocked to see a tiger crawling outside their homes in Houston, Texas on Sunday night.
Police say they received a call about a tiger in a neighbor’s front yard around 8 p.m. local time.
By the time they arrived, however, the tiger was gone.
“It has a collar. It is somebody’s pet,” eyewitness Maria Torres said while capturing video of the wild cat.
Video shows a neighbor grab the tiger by what appears to be a collar and lead it into a home.
At one point, another man appeared to point a gun at the animal before it was led inside.
Neighbors told police someone in a white vehicle managed to get the animal under control and took it away.
It’s still unclear where the animal may have come from or who was responsible for it, but police are investigating.
Previous wild encounters in Houston
While Houston for the most part may be a sprawling cosmopolitan city, the city has had its fair share of tiger instances.
In May 2019, a tiger was found caged in a southwest Houston garage.
Houston police arrested the former owner, Brittany Garza, who at the time faced animal cruelty charges. She told our sister station KTRK-TV at the time that she had raised the tiger, whom she called “Rajah,” since he was a cub. But once Rajah started getting big, she knew it was time to find him a new place to live.
Garza claimed she had made arrangements with a sanctuary and put the animal inside a friend’s home until the transfer could be made. But someone else found the tiger in the garage before he could be moved.
The tiger was eventually taken to Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, where he is said to be living the rest of his life.
Can you own exotic animals in Texas or Houston city limits?
According to KTRK, in Texas, owners of “dangerous wild animals” must register with their municipality or county animal office or sheriff.
A dangerous animal includes a lion, tiger, ocelot, cougar, leopard, cheetah, jaguar, bobcat, lynx, serval, caracal, hyena, bear, coyote, jackal, baboon, chimpanzee, orangutan and gorilla.
However, municipalities can also ban ownership of these animals.
And for anyone hoping to own a dangerous wild animal in Houston city limits, no can do. It is illegal.
Violations are misdemeanors punishable by fines of $500 to $2,000.
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