Mother’s day was a little terrifying for a few residents of a Texas suburb when a tiger was spotted roaming freely in the neighborhood.
A video was posted on social media showing a fully grown Bengal tiger freely walking in the yard of a house in the Energy Corridor which is 18 miles West of downtown Houston.
On Twitter, Houston police reported that their Animal cruelty unit along with BARC, which is an animal shelter and adoptive center, are currently investigating this incident. The Tiger was spotted at 1103 Ivy Wall Drive on Sunday at about 8 pm.
In the initial video, which was posted on Twitter, the tiger is seen to be roaming in the yard and crossing a street. An off-duty deputy sheriff named Wes Manion was thankfully present across this street and faced the tiger with his firearm out. Thankfully, the tiger was very not aggressive with the deputy sheriff and he did not have to fire his gun at the tiger.
In a later video, it is seen that the apparent owner came out of the house a few minutes later after hearing the commotion outside. He takes the tiger into the house. Witnesses said that the man was seen later putting the animal into a while jeep Cherokee and fleeing the house. When the police arrived the house was empty, the police followed the car but lost sight quickly.
The man did not own the house and was renting it. The owner said that he had no idea about pets in the house and no pet charge was paid but he was suspicious since he was not allowed into the house for repairs. A few houses down from the incident, there was an ongoing birthday party where a few kids were present.
The owner has been identified by the Houston police and the major offender’s division is looking for him. The police released an update in the news saying that the owner was out on a $250,000 bond since November as he was a suspect for homicide in Fort Bend County.
Inside Houston city limits, tigers are not allowed to be kept as pets but licensed handlers are permitted to keep exotic animals. Yet, it is estimated that Texas has the second-highest number of tigers in the world, after Bengal. There are about 2,000 to 5,000 tigers living in the state most of which are unregistered and are kept illegally in the backyards.