Houston Tiger Captured Safely After Week on the Loose

by Jon D. B.
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Houston, Texas’ once-in-a-lifetime tiger hunt is over. The formerly loose Bengal is now in custody before transport to a Murchison animal sanctuary.

This poor tiger. How a Texas murder convict – free on bond – came into the possession of a Bengal tiger cub, only for it to escape into a populous neighborhood – is baffling. Yet that’s exactly the story that’s dominated headlines for the past week.

After a high-speed chase and the tiger’s “owner” being caught, Houston authorities’ next mission was to find the big cat. Now, the big cat is finally safe, and Houstonians can rest easy knowing they are, too.

It turns out, however, that this particular “big cat” isn’t so big. Not yet. According to TMZ, the Bengal was turned into authorities Sunday by the wife, Gia, of the convict, Victor Cuevas. The tiger, weighing 175-pounds, is still a cub and requires bottle-feeding, which can be seen in footage acquired by the trade below.

That this feline is as large as a full-grown adult – and just 9-months-old at the moment – is a testament to the sheer size of the Bengal tiger species. When this kit, named India, is fully grown herself, she may weigh over 600 pounds.

For now, though, India is safe and in custody thanks to Gia being at least a bit smarter than her husband. HPD Chief Ron Borza tells TMZ that Gia led his precinct to a tennis club where the cub was being kept. A tennis club.

For the past week, Cuevas (see: murder convict) has told authorities he was “unaware” of the tiger’s whereabouts, and that the animal did not belong to him. Gia, however, must’ve realized how dangerous it is to keep a tiger in a tennis club.

Tiger Cub to Grow Up at World-Renowned TX Animal Sanctuary

Borza continues that the young cub was “stressed out and agitated,” due largely to the youngster “liking attention.”

TMZ‘s footage, however, shows India being as docile and affectionate as a puppy of the same age. There is no such thing as a “docile” or domesticated tiger, however, and these wild animals never belong in homes (or tennis courts. C’mon). Just watch Netflix’s Tiger King if you need a refresher on this.

The police chief adds that Gia “knew the entire week where India was,” too. Something tells us Outsiders that Cuevas has plenty more charges headed his way. Regardless, HPD is still absolutely baffled over how Cuevas came into possession of a Bengal tiger. Cuevas himself has been in custody since last week.

As for India, the cub will soon be sent to Cleveland Armory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, TX. The animal sanctuary is 3 hours from Houston. Despite its militant-sounding title, the sanctuary was actually founded in 1979 by author and animal conservationist Cleveland Armory.

“I think the public thought it would be easy to catch a tiger, but it wasn’t at all,” Chief Borza concludes of the matter.

Head here next for our original coverage of Houston’s absolutely insane tiger standoff.

What a tale.

Outsider.com