A person who entered an abandoned house in Houston's Harrisburg / Manchester neighborhood looking for a KPRC-TV reported on Monday.
According to KPRC, the anonymous tipster understandably believed they were hallucinating when they found the animal by a "screwdriver and a nylon strap":
The tipster said they were at the house to smoke marijuana and thought they were hallucinating
The tiger was found in a " rinky-dink "cage in the garage, which was not locked, police said.
KTRK reported that when the tipster called 311 to report the animal, so you suspected
"A concerned citizen called 311. They were trying to get into this house to smoke marijuana. We questioned them as to what they were under the effects of the drugs. Sgt. Jason Alderete, of [the Houston Police Department’s] Major Offenders, Livestock's Animal Cruelty Unit.
While the tipster saw the tiger a week ago, they said they were leaving this building It was only on Monday that Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC) officers and police found the animal.
The tiger was in "a pretty small cage basically a garage in a house that did not look like it was in the best shape," Houston official Lara Cottingham told KPRC.
According to the Houston Chronicle, neighbors were totally unaware of the presence of the animal, with some speculating that it was a saying safety threat. Local resident Pablo Briagas told the paper, "I have my kids here. It's dangerous for them to have (a tiger down the street). Even if they had it as a pet, that's dangerous. "
The tiger is bound for a BARC shelter on a temporary basis, with Cottingham telling the Chronicle that their facility was "not designed to house big cats." BARC officials have been in communication with a wildlife refuge. KPRC-TV reported that the Houston Zoo said that it has no plans to take the animal in.
It's not clear what subspecies of tiger the animal, but the IUCN Red List classifies all tigers as endangered, with less than 4,000 and possibly as little as around 2,150 However, the trade in captive tigers is rampant, and the Chronicle reported in 2016 that at some point in the world. While they are illegal to own in Houston, they are among the 19 species of "dangerous wild animals" subject to regulation in the state, and are essentially unregulated beyond an "easily avoidable permitting process in" the unincorporated county and vast rural expanses. "
According to the Statesman, despite the thousands of tigers being believed in the state, a Texas Department of State Health Services spokesman that only 50 were registered as of February 2018. Animal rights and conservation activists say the inconsistent patchwork of laws on tiger ownership in Texas-the state does not track which counties and county-level enforcement is sometimes loose-has resulted in serious consequences.
"The tragedy here is Texas Humane Legislation Network advisory director Skip Trimble has told the State sman. "… you can buy them online, or you can buy them on the side of the highway, or you can trade them with somebody. There is nothing that requires a sales slip for the seller. So the seller does not have anything to report. "