Finally found: Wandering Texas tiger transported to wildlife sanctuary

Houston police announced the tiger was found in a video shared to Twitter.
Houston police announced the tiger was found in a video shared to Twitter. Photo credit: Twitter - Houston Police

A tiger who put on a frightening show last week roaming the streets of a Houston suburb has been found and transported to an animal sanctuary. 

After nearly a week of searching, the nine-month-old male tiger named India was turned over to police by his owner and transported to Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch.

"Black Beauty Ranch will provide safe sanctuary for him and give him a proper diet, enrichment, an expansive naturally wooded habitat where he can safely roam and will provide everything else he needs to be the healthy wild tiger he deserves to be," the sanctuary's senior director told the Associated Press. 

Authorities had been searching for the tiger since Houston residents spotted him prowling around their neighbourhood on May 9. 

As police responded to reports of the sighting, the tiger's owner took him into a white SUV and sped off. 

Houston police announced India had been found safe and healthy in a video shared to Twitter on Saturday night (local time) where police commander Ron Borza can be seen stroking the big cat.

In a press conference, Borza identified Victor Hugo Cuevas and his wife Gia Cuevas as the tiger's owners as well as revealing Gia was the one to turn the wild animal in. 

"It is Victor's tiger. That's what I was told by Gia... She says they've had that animal for nine months."

Borza said Gia and her husband were not currently facing any charges and couldn't confirm how they obtained the tiger. 

Tigers are not allowed within Houston city unless accompanied by a licensed handler. Borza discouraged the public from owning such exotic animals: "In no way shape or form should you have an animal like that in your household.

"That animal can get to 600 pounds. It still had his claws, and it could do a lot of damage if he decided to."

Victor's lawyer denies he was the "primary owner".