HOUSTON - An anonymous tipster in Houston called authorities after discovering a grown tiger inside a garage at an abandoned house on the city’s southeast side last week, according to news reports.
The tipster told police he had gone to the house to smoke pot and said that, when he first noticed the tiger in a rickety cage in the garage, he thought he was hallucinating, KPRC-TV reported.
"A concerned citizen called 311, they were trying to get into this house to smoke marijuana. We questioned them as to whether they were actually under the effects of the drugs or they actually saw a tiger. They say a tiger in this building, this vacant house, that's obviously been abandoned for some time. Somebody has been feeding the tiger There's several packages of meat," Sgt. Jason Alderete told KTRK.
The tiger’s cage was not locked and the garage was secured with just a screwdriver and a nylon strap, police told KPRC.
Here's the tiger being loaded into a trailer. Officials said it will go to BARC tonight and a permanent home will be found soon. MORE ---> https://t.co/Qm7RW8ScEG #kprc2 #HouNews pic.twitter.com/8dRuiNLTTc— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) February 12, 2019
UPDATE: Man smoking pot finds tiger in abandoned house, says he thought he was hallucinating, according to police https://t.co/Qm7RW8ScEG #kprc2 #HouNews #SometimesHeadlinesWriteThemselves pic.twitter.com/0e8fBgM78h— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) February 12, 2019
The tiger was tranquilized and removed from the house to a local animal shelter, but will be relocated to a permanent facility soon.
"The animal was in a tiny garage, completely dark, smelled like urine, deplorable conditions. The animal was really thirsty so we were able to give it some water and so that was a good thing. We'll get it back to BARC and figure out what tigers eat," said Jarrad Mears, a manager at the city's animal shelter.
The Tiger Conservation Campaign says only 3,500 tigers of all subspecies of the big cat remain in the wild.
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