Investigators have fielded hundreds of calls in connection to the 9-month-old cat named India, police said. But they still don’t know where the tiger is.
It’s not clear.
Wes Manion, an off-duty deputy who lives in the neighborhood where the tiger was seen with Cuevas, testified that he had his weapon trained on the animal as he waited for police Sunday. Manion said Cuevas came out and pleaded with him not to kill the tiger, telling the deputy, “That is my tiger,” before grabbing it by the collar, kissing it on the forehead and taking it in the house. Manion added Cuevas got into an SUV with the tiger and drove off, ignoring numerous commands to stop.
Cuevas’s lawyer said his client returned the cat to its owner Sunday night, but didn’t identify the person.
The latest on the investigation
Police believe the tiger is still in Houston and that it has been in as many as eight different locations throughout the city during the past week.
Animal control officers are helping police with the investigation, according to Houston’s animal shelter and adoption facility, BARC.
“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,” a city spokeswoman said in a statement.
At least one sanctuary has offered to take India once he’s found.
Carole Baskin weighs in
Baskin told CNN this week that those in the neighborhood near the tiger were in “extreme danger.”
“Tigers are hardwired to roam hundreds of square miles, so there’s no cage that’s going to be sufficient for them,” Baskin said. “The only reason that people have tigers as pets is to try to show off to others.”
Baskin said the off-duty deputy did the right thing.
“He kept eye contact, he backed away slowly. A tiger, if you look down, if you turn, if that neighbor had run back to his door, that triggers their instinct to kill,” she said.
CNN’s Rosa Flores, Ashley Killough, Ralph Ellis, Travis Caldwell, Holly Yan, Carma Hassan, Keith Allen, Amir Vera, Eric Levenson and Julia Jones contributed to this report.
Source: CNN – US News