Tiger Loose in Houston
The city of Houston, Texas is no stranger to tiger sightings. In fact, the city is known for being home to one of the largest tiger populations in the world, according to National Geographic. Tiger Loose In Houston
But this is the first time in recent history that a tiger has been loose on its own in a neighborhood. On Sunday, a tiger was spotted in a west Houston neighborhood on Ivy Wall Drive. The animal was wearing a collar and was seen roaming around the neighborhood, as one neighbor reported to KHOU.
The tiger was seen walking along the sidewalk in front of a neighbor’s house before being chased by another man who pointed what appeared to be a gun at it, according to the video shared on social media. The man, who was identified as an off-duty Waller County sheriff’s deputy, can be heard yelling at the tiger and asking it to “get your f-king tiger back inside.”
A man who was believed to be the owner of the tiger, Victor Hugo Cuevas, was arrested on Monday in connection with the incident, police said. He has a long criminal history, including a murder charge that was filed against him in Fort Bend County two years ago.
After Cuevas was apprehended, the tiger, whom authorities identified as India, was taken to an animal sanctuary. While it is illegal to own a tiger in the city of Houston, there are exceptions that allow people to keep animals like monkeys.
Cuevas was living in a rental near the Energy Corridor and had an extensive tiger enclosure outside, Hensley and Gill report. Borza, the commander of Houston police’s animal control unit, believes the tiger found freedom by scaling a fence.
Several people contacted HPD to help track down the tiger. The tiger was eventually captured and brought into the shelter, where it will live out its days until a new owner is found.
The tiger that was seen running free in west Houston on Sunday had a history of being a fugitive, according to police. The suspect, whose name has not been released, was previously accused of shooting and killing a man in Fort Bend County.
He was arrested in July 2017 and has been out on bond for that crime. His lawyer claims that he is not the tiger’s owner, and that he did nothing wrong.
Cuevas, who lives in a rental in the Energy Corridor, had an extensive tiger enclosure outside that was supposed to be safe for the tiger and his two monkeys, but it appears that he didn’t have any of them when police arrived on Sunday night.
At least two witnesses said they saw Cuevas grabbing the tiger by its collar and putting it in his vehicle before speeding away. When police officers arrived on Sunday night, they found a white Jeep Cherokee in the yard with the tiger. Officers pursuing the vehicle lost sight of it, and it isn’t clear where the tiger was when the vehicle was gone.