Missing Texas tiger found safe, police say

Victor Hugo Cuevas
Posted at 7:10 PM, May 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-15 22:10:30-04

HOUSTON (AP) — A tiger that frightened residents after it was last seen briefly wandering around a Houston neighborhood has been found and appears to be unharmed, police announced Saturday evening.

In a short video tweeted by Houston police, Cmdr. Ron Borza can be seen sitting next to the tiger, petting the animal and saying it has been a long week searching for it.

“But we got him and he’s healthy,” Borza said as a woman next to him fed the tiger with a baby bottle. The tiger was being held at BARC, the city of Houston’s animal shelter.

Even Tiger King star Carole Baskin joined the hunt for India. She offered a $5,000 reward to help find the big cat.

Houston police were expected to offer more details on how they found the tiger at a news conference later Saturday evening.

Authorities had been searching for the tiger, a 9-month-old male named India, since it was spotted Sunday in a west Houston neighborhood. At the time, it was nearly shot by an off-duty deputy before being whisked away in a car by Victor Hugo Cuevas, who police allege is the owner.

Cuevas’ attorney, Michael W. Elliott, has insisted his client doesn’t own the tiger but only took care of the animal on occasion for the actual owner. Elliott said he only knew the first name of the owner and had been working with authorities to find India.

Cuevas was arrested Monday by Houston police and charged with evading arrest for allegedly fleeing his home with the tiger after officers had responded to a call about a dangerous animal.