In the video, we can see a tiger prowling a residential neighborhood, moving with objective toward a man-later identified as an off-duty Waller County sheriff's deputy-who keeps a handgun trained on the jungle cat, shouting "no sir" at the beast as it approaches. During the encounter, the deputy can be heard yelling at the tiger's caretaker to get the animal back inside. Or, if they lived on Ivy Wall Drive in a west Houston neighborhood just off of George Bush Park, they may have spent the evening avoiding being eaten by a tiger. Minutes later, he put the animal in a white Jeep Cherokee and took off before police arrived. "How do you not realize that your pet tiger is missing?"
"[The deputy] somehow gets notified or gets wind of what's going on and he ends up going to the scene and he's trying to maintain safety out there and keep everybody back and make sure everything's OK", Senties said.
During a news conference, Houston Police Commander Ron Borza said the tiger's owner, identified by police as Victor Hugo Cuevas, 26, was arrested in July 2020 and charged with murder stemming from a 2017 fatal shooting outside a sushi restaurant in Fort Bend County, Texas.
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"My main concern right now is focusing on him and finding the tiger because what I don't want him to do is to harm the tiger", Borza said. "They're very pretty to look at, very expensive to have them", Borza said. Police say they pursued the man but lost sight of him as he sped away.
Borza said Cuevas is leasing the Houston residence, described in real estate ads as a 4,541-square-foot, five-bedroom, four-bathroom house. The man also apparently had two monkeys in the home, Borza said. "We want to get him and get the tiger to a safe place". Police are investigating the incident. Someone eventually came out of the house and brought the tiger back inside, according to KHOU.
In 2019, some people who went into an abandoned Houston home to smoke marijuana found a caged tiger. (The cub now lives safely in the care of zoological professionals in Houston.) Another pet tiger-nicknamed "Elsa", after the character in Frozen-was rescued by Bexar County sheriffs during the February deep freeze and relocated to the Black Beauty Ranch in the East Texas city of Murchison.
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There are more captive tigers (5,000) in the USA than in the wild (3,900), according to the World Wildlife Fund.
Texas is one of the most lenient states when it comes to exotic animal ownership laws. He said it's illegal to have pet tigers in the city of Houston and that police do not know where Cuevas purchased the animal.
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