Tiger's Whereabouts Unknown, Owner Arrested After Animal Runs Free in Texas Neighborhood

Tigers are not allowed within Houston city limits as a pet

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A man whose tiger was found wandering around a Houston neighborhood Sunday night has been arrested, police say. The tiger's whereabouts are still unknown.

A neighbor says families spotted the tiger lounging in the front yard of a home while out on an evening walk.

Video of the encounter shows the tiger walking toward a Waller County sheriff's deputy who lives in the neighborhood.

When the deputy pulled out his service weapon, another man from a nearby home reportedly came out shouting, "Don't shoot!"

The deputy tells the tiger's caretaker, "Get your tiger back inside." No shots were fired.

The big cat was later corralled back inside the home, then the caretaker rushed the tiger away in a white Jeep as police arrived, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Houston police said they arrested Victor Hugo Cuevas Monday night.

Earlier Monday, a spokesperson for the Houston Police Department said Cuevas was out on bond as a suspect for a November 2020 murder.

Tigers are not allowed within Houston city limits unless a handler, such as a zoo, is licensed to have exotic animals.

This isn't the first time a tiger has been found roaming a yard in Texas.

During the winter storm that gripped Texas in February, a "pet tiger" wearing a harness named Elsa was found in a yard in Bexar County. She was rescued and now lives at the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison in Henderson County -- about 80 miles southeast of Dallas.

A six-month-old, 60-pound pet tiger found during winter weather last week near San Antonio has a new home in Henderson County.

In February 2019 an abandoned tiger was found in a cage inside an abandoned home in Houston. The tiger was named Loki and also lives at Black Beauty Ranch.

Loki Enjoying Life at North Texas Animal Sanctuary

The Texas state director of the Humane Society of the United States says it is working to secure passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act in Congress. It would ban the possession of big cat species like tigers and lions as pets and prohibit using them at facilities that allow public contact with big cats.

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