Lifestyle & Human Interest

After Going Missing for Nearly a Week, Tiger Seen Roaming Streets Is Surrendered to Authorities: Police


Houston has been abuzz with the tiger incident of the last week. On May 9, people in one Houston neighborhood were shocked to see a tiger out and about, casually roaming around until a man grabbed it by the collar and ran into a house with it, and then loaded it up in a car and took off.

A police chase ensued, and although the suspect — 26-year-old Victor Cuevas — got away, he was arrested Monday night. Though Cuevas was located, the tiger was nowhere to be found.

After days of searching and with the reported help of a woman named Linda McIngvale, India the 9-month-old Bengal tiger was found. McIngvale owns a “licensed facility with exotic animals” in Houston and claimed she knew the Cuevas couple, according to Fox News.

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“I was able to arrange, through the help of the Cuevas’ for the tiger to be located and anonymously delivered to us where BARC was on stand-by to receive,” McIngvale said in a statement, according to KRIV-TV. “We are happy that the tiger is now safe and with the sanctuary and appreciate the Cuevas’ help in this matter.”

“I think the public thought that it would be easy to catch a tiger, but it wasn’t at all,” Cmdr. Ron Borza with the Houston Police Department said, according to ABC News. “I presumed right that it was still in Houston and I’m glad it worked out this way.”

According to police, Gia Cuevas, Victor’s wife, surrendered the tiger over to the Houston Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, and from there he was transported to the Cleveland Armory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchinson, Texas.

“India is safely loaded in his transport trailer and will be heading back to BBR where he will live in a 1/2 acre naturally wooded habitat with lots of amenities!” the Cleveland Armory Black Beauty Ranch posted on Monday morning, along with photos of the young tiger.

Around lunchtime, Black Beauty Ranch posted a photo of the cat’s collar and shared he’s now free to act like the animal he is.

“India won’t be treated like a pet on a leash anymore,” the post said. “His collar is now off and he can be the wild animal he deserves to be.”

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It’s certainly a happy ending for this high-profile cat chase, and thankfully India was located without damage to himself or others.

The mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, has kept people updated on this wild tiger chase and thanked those responsible for the safe relocation of the large cat and reminded people that “wild animals” don’t belong in the city.

“I want to thank the Houston Police Department and BARC for working together over the past few days to try to find the missing tiger that was reported roaming in W. Houston over the weekend,” he posted on Wednesday.

“Per Chapter 6-52 of the City of Houston’s Code of Ordinances, it is illegal to keep any wild animals that are dangerous to humans in the City of Houston in any facility other than an accredited zoo or shelter.

“In the event any such animals are found in Houston, Animal Control Officers will impound the animals and transport them to a secure location — either BARC, another shelter, or regional wildlife facility — to protect the safety of the public as well as the animals’ health.”

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