HOUSTON (KPRC/NBC News/KXAN) — The tiger that was seen in a Houston neighborhood last week has been found.
Police say the owner handed the tiger over in West Houston after the owner’s friend spoke with BARC Animal Shelter. The tiger, India, appears to be unharmed.
Police say no charges have been filed yet against the owner, named Gia, reportedly the wife of Victor Cuevas. Police say the woman may be brought in for questions at a later date.
Cuevas was arrested after fleeing from police with the tiger last week.
Meanwhile, India the tiger will be transported to the Celeveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, Sunday.
Houston Police Department Commander Ron Borza commented on the situation, saying: “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 weights 175 lbs. 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…”
Borza also explained that there’s been a little back-and-forth between law enforcement and Cuevas’ attorney about who owned the animal. The commander said Cuevas’ attorney assures it belonged to Cuevas’ wife, however, Borza said “I’m going with: it’s Victor’s tiger… the tiger was passed around a little bit, but ultimately Gia [wife] knew where the tiger was at all times…”
Houston police say they won’t stop investigating because one exotic animal rescue doesn’t mean there aren’t more out there. Borza said he would like to find them all and relocate them to a safe environment.
The case of India and the arrest of Cuevas made national and international headlines, with many making comparisons to the Netflix true crime documentary “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” which chronicled events at an Oklahoma zoo owned by felon Joe Exotic and his arch-nemesis Carole Baskin, a local animal sanctuary owner.
Baskin, who recently appeared on “Dancing With the Stars,” even offered a $5,000 reward for the tiger’s recovery.
“I am extremely worried about what happens with this tiger and the people around it,” Baskin told CNN. “Because the people who were involved … have proven that they are absolutely reckless individuals with no concern for the people around them or for the animal involved. No tiger belongs in a backyard or basement.”