It sounds like a scene straight from a movie but you really can’t make this stuff up, folks.
A person recently snuck into an abandoned house in Houston, Texas to smoke marijuana but received the surprise of a lifetime when they stumbled upon a tiger. At first, the sneaky pot user thought they were hallucinating – but shockingly, the tiger was very, very real.
After blinking and rubbing their eyes (we can only assume), it was determined that the tiger was certainly not an illusion and the person fleed the house and called the police to report the extremely strange sighting.
A member of the Houston Police Department first thought that the call about a tiger sighting had to be a hoax.
Unsurprisingly, after hearing the story, the police officer had an array of questions for the unnamed person that reported the bizarre scene – assuming that their drug use must have played a role in this scenario. It must have been the effects of the drug use because a tiger in Houston was simply implausible.
Congratulations to our @BARC_Houston
Animal Enforcement Officers on a job well done. Earlier Monday, they followed up on an anonymous tip from a concerned citizen regarding a tiger.https://t.co/AAv71RCtUr pic.twitter.com/ComVF8JZS0
— City of Houston (@HoustonTX) February 12, 2019
After hanging up the phone, still uncertain of the validity of the call, the Houston Police Department’s Major Offenders, Livestock Animal Cruelty Unit, arrived at the scene to determine whether the caller was telling the truth or not.
Footage of the rescue below.
Upon arriving at the scene, the police officers indeed found a very large and overweight female tiger. Estimating that she could have weighed nearly 1,000 pounds.
Even though the female tiger appeared to be docile, “friendly, and unaggressive, the rescue team decided that it was in their best interest to tranquilize the large cat. Afterward, they would transport her to Houston’s city’s BARC animal shelter. She’s been nicknamed ‘Tyson’ after The Hangover movie.
Sgt. Jason Alderete, of Houston Police Department’s major offenders, livestock animal cruelty unit, made a statement after the rescue of the beautiful cat.
This is WILD! 1000lb tiger found inside abandoned SE Houston home. Some pot smokers went in to home to light up and came face to face with him! Called 311. He’s healthy and onto greener pastures soon. The place is TBD. #khou11 #tiger #houston #htx pic.twitter.com/n4JC5MraYn
— Lauren Talarico (@KHOULauren) February 11, 2019
“A concerned citizen called 311. They were trying to get into this house to smoke marijuana. We questioned them as to whether they were under the effects of the drugs or they actually saw a tiger. They saw a tiger in this building, this vacant house that’s obviously been abandoned for some time.”
The tiger was being kept in an unlocked cage that was far too small for the 1,100-pound animal. There were also several packages of meat nearby which is how she was being fed.
Now, authorities are trying to determine how the tiger ended up in this building and where they could place her.
In an update posted on February 11th, 2019, BARC Houston shared the following message regarding the mystery tiger.
“The tiger rescued yesterday from an abandoned home by BARC Animal Enforcement Officers and Houston Police Department has left BARC for a new life at an animal sanctuary where she can receive the specialized care she needs and deserves!”
— Marla Carter (@MarlaABC13) February 11, 2019
“We appreciate the outpouring of concern from the community and people around the world. Additional updates may be shared if they become available!”
Lara Cottingham, chief of staff of Houston’s Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department, spoke to USA Today and said that the entire situation was shocking – to say the least.
“We deal with, for the most part, puppies and kittens. Very, very rarely do we take in a tiger.”
Heidi Krahn, executive director of the center for animal research & education, told ABC News that “finding a forever home for a tiger is not easy.” Thankfully, they are safe and sound at their new home at the animal sanctuary.
Although the person who was keeping her there is still a mystery – having illegal exotic pets is not new. People need to be aware of the dangers of taking in an exotic animal – they are often born small, cute, and cuddly but can grow up to be dangerous and then abandoned.
Watch more on the story below.
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