Missing Texas tiger has been found and is unharmed, police say

Posted at 8:27 PM, May 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-15 22:11:04-04

A missing tiger seen in a Houston neighborhood last week has been found, Houston Police announced Saturday night.

The tiger, a nine-month-old named India, appeared to be unharmed.

Police say Victor Hugo Cuevas is India's owner; he's facing a charge of evading arrest after police say he fled officers who were responding to a call about a dangerous animal on Sunday.

At a court hearing for a separate case, Cuevas' attorney said his client doesn't own the tiger, the Associated Press reported. He added he only knew the first name of the owner, that he's been working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to find India, and that his client only wanted for the tiger to be safe.

At the time of his arrest, Cuevas was already out on bond for a murder charge in a 2017 fatal shooting.

Friday, police said they'd received about 300 tips but none had panned out. Cmdr. Ron Borza said some of those tips were "a little bit crazy."

"We know the group of people that are involved in the exotic animal trade here in Houston ... We have visited all of them and no luck so far," he said.

Houston PD says India has arrived safely at the city's shelter and adoption facility. A media briefing is planned for 9 p.m.

Tigers are not permitted in Houston city limits unless the owner is licensed to have exotic animals. There is no statewide law forbidding private ownership of tigers and other exotic animals, The AP reported.

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