A tiger that was missing for a week after being spotted roaming around a Houston neighbourhood has been found, police confirmed. India, the nine-month-old Bengal tiger, was turned into police on Saturday and is said to be in good health.
Footage shared on social media last week appeared to show the tiger wandering around the streets of in the west of the Texan city, the tiger will be delivered to an animal sanctuary on Sunday. The animal was spotted out on the streets on 9 May. When officers arrived at the scene, a man put the tiger into an SUV and drove off, police said. Houston Police attempted to follow the vehicle but lost sight of it a short time later.
The alleged owner, Hugo Cuevas, was arrested several days later for evading arrest. At the time of the incident, Mr Cuevas was already on bail for a murder charge. Mr Cuevas’ lawyer has insisted that the animal was not his but told the Associated Press that he was involved “in the caretaking of India often”.
Late on Saturday, police said at a news conference that the animal was turned over to officers by Mr Cuevas’ wife Giorgiana.
It is not clear where the animal has been for the past week but Houston Police Commander Ron Borza said earlier this week that he believed the animal was being passed around several safe houses.
Speaking at a news conference on Saturday, Mr Borza said: “In no way, shape or form should you have an animal like that in your household. That animal is only nine months old and already weighs 175 lbs (80kgs) – full grown, that animal can get to 600 lbs. It still had its claws and it could do a lot of damage if he decided to.
“Luckily for us, he’s very tame and he will be going to a sanctuary tomorrow where, hopefully, he’ll live the rest of his life in a very safe environment.”
The tiger will have its own enclosure with a wooded area and pool at the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch.