A nine-month-old Bengal tiger that was missing for a week in Houston has been turned in to the authorities on May 15, police confirmed.
“We are happy to report that the missing tiger seen in a Houston neighborhood last week has been found and appears to be unharmed,” Houston Police stated on Twitter.
Houston Police Commander Ron Borza said at a news conference that Gia Cuevas, the wife of alleged owner Victor Hugo, turned in the animal to the officers.
Authorities arrested Victor Hugo last May 10 on suspicion of felony evading arrest, a day after the tiger was first spotted roaming around the streets.
Borza had said that when officers arrived where the tiger was spotted last May 9, a man allegedly “put the tiger in a white SUV and drove off” and police lost sight of the vehicle shortly after attempting to follow it.
In Houston, housing a tiger is illegal, according to Borza.
“In no way, shape or form should you have an animal like that in your household. That animal is only nine months old and already weighs 175 pounds (79 kilograms). Full grown, that animal can get to 600 pounds (272 kilograms). It still had its claws and it could do a lot of damage if he decided to,” Borza said.
It has not been made clear where the tiger has been for the days it was missing, but Borza said earlier this week that he believed the animal was being passed around multiple safe houses.
The tiger, named India, has been transferred to Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas on May 16.
Ranch Director Noelle Almrud said that the tiger will have its own habitat, which will include a naturally-wooded area and a pool.