Marijuana smokers find tiger in vacant Houston home

Erika Holt
February 13, 2019

The garage was being secured with a screwdriver and nylon strap.

The identity of the pot-smoking tipster who first reported the tiger was not released.

"The tiger was very thirsty, so we gave him some water", said Jarrad Mears with Houston animal shelter BARC.

"We questioned them as to whether they were under the effects of the drugs or (if) they actually saw a tiger", Alderete said.

The home had been abandoned for some time, Alderete said. The location isn't being made public while an investigation into who owns the tiger continues.

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According to KPRC, the animal will not be moved to the Houston Zoo as the zoo is already home to two Malayan tigers.

"She is pretty large so she doesn't look underfed", Cottingham added, in an on-air news segment. That neighbor said she was concerned about the health and safety of the animal. "It's a handsome animal and we want it to live a happy healthy life".

While the unexpected human-tiger encounter ended happily, authorities said it could have been much bloodier given the crude nature of the tiger's enclosure. "More often than not it gets big, it gets expensive, it gets risky, and they end up turning the animal in or abandoning it".

Cottingham said a wildlife refuge can take the female tiger, but not until Tuesday, so it will be spending the night at the BARC shelter "safely secured from our other animals". They are endangered - the WWF estimates there are fewer than 4,000 left in the wild.

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