SAN ANTONIO, Texas (KXAN) — Deputies in Bexar County seized a 14-week-old tiger cub and a bobcat Tuesday from a home in a San Antonio neighborhood.
Deputies responded to the house at 3114 Shane Road in south San Antonio. Sheriff Javier Salazar told reporters during a news conference that the bobcat roamed around a couple’s house freely.
He said deputies discovered the tiger cub after seeing its paws sticking out under a closed door.
Salazar said his office is seeing more cases involving exotic animals, and he specifically cited the Netflix docuseries “Tiger King” for spurring the trend.
“It’s just like when ‘101 Dalmatians’ came out. Everybody wanted a Dalmatian,” Salazar said. “Now people are seeing this on Netflix, ‘Oh, wow. How cute! Look at that tiny tiger cub.’ Well, it’s going to be a 500-pound tiger overnight and so people need to use their brain and realize not only is it dangerous, not only is it extremely irresponsible. It’s illegal. We’re going to come out and seize the animal.”
The sheriff indicated an arrest had been made related to this case, but he did not identify the suspect or share what the charges are at this time.
The tiger cub and bobcat have now found a temporary home at the San Antonio Zoo. The zoo estimates the tiger to be about 14 weeks old and the bobcat about five years old. Staff evaluated the animals and found them to be in poor condition due to malnutrition and poor general care. The zoo is working to give the cats the proper care they need until they find a permanent place to live.
The sheriff also said he is talking with a state lawmaker to pursue legislation that curtails exotic animal breeding as well as possession.