Police in Houston are investigating after 1,000-pound tiger was discovered in an abandoned southeast Houston home by a couple looking for a place to smoke weed.
Authorities say the couple entered the home on Monday intending to smoke marijuana when they found the exotic animal trapped inside a 4×8-feet cage.
After discovering the tiger the coupled called 311 and directed them to the vacant home, though the dispatcher initially questioned whether the couple were hallucinating.
With the help of Houston police animal control officers obtained a search warrant and entered the home.
UPDATE: Man smoking pot finds tiger in abandoned house, says he thought he was hallucinating, according to police https://t.co/Qm7RW8ScEG #kprc2 #HouNews #SometimesHeadlinesWriteThemselves pic.twitter.com/0e8fBgM78h— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) February 12, 2019
The animal control crew reportedly nicknamed the big cat “Tyson” after the movie The Hangover.
Lara Cottingham, of the city’s Administration & Regulatory Affairs Department say’s Tyson had not been “well cared for.” Although the female cat appeared to be well fed she was dehydrated and kept in cramped conditions.
Police say Tyson was found in a “rinky-dink” cage in the home’s garage. The cage was not locked and the garage was secured with a screwdriver and a nylon strap.
After arriving authorities tranquilized Tyson and transported her to Houston’s BARC animal shelter where the tiger will stay temporarily until a permanent home can be found.
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
After her discovery Tyson’s bizarre story quickly made headlines, though people seemed to have the most trouble believing that the incident hadn’t taken place in Florida.
i was deadset on believing this would be in Florida somehow. im shocked.— ٠ (@itsbriaaa) February 12, 2019
I absolutely read the story because I thought it was in Florida!— Black On Both Sides (@ImBornRebel) February 12, 2019
right. i was like another Florida story. lol— ٠ (@itsbriaaa) February 12, 2019
Hey, Florida, one of your news stories happened in another state.— JRehling (@JRehling) February 12, 2019
Police are now looking for the owners of the abandoned residence. Although it is legal to own a tiger in the state of Texas with a wild game permit, it is illegal in Houston, and the owners could face significant fines if they are found.
Given Tyson’s size though, people started guessing where the owners might be found.
Looks like the tiger ate the people who use to live in that house— andy (@andygrimaldi123) February 12, 2019
Any chance the owner resides inside the tiger?— LAKINGSDG (@LAKingsDG) February 12, 2019
The report is the tiger is overweight. The house is "abandoned".— Dilligaf (@dilligaf0) February 12, 2019
Are we sure the tiger didn't eat the homeowner?
But more were worried about the conditions that the tiger had been kept in.
Thank God the guy had a conscience & didn't just bolt without calling for help. Thank you! Poor baby. I hope it can get healthy & thrive again. Can you imagine the damage to his legs & hips with all that weight. Probably hasn't been able to walk for awhile.— The Awake are the True Voices of God. (@lchristinep) February 12, 2019
This is so incredibly sad 🙁 I hope he gets to stay with the zoo here and we can all watch him get healthy and cared for— Z (@kissingsinners) February 12, 2019
I hope the poor baby is able to have a happy, healthy life from now on. 🐯— Ashlyn V🐾 (@Rose_On_A_Wire) February 12, 2019
And I hope the person/people responsible for the mistreatment is/are put in jail
The owners should be arrested , this poor tiger has been suffering for too long. Tigers do not belong as house pets!— MccrayNowks (@britney97834201) February 12, 2019
It’s all good news for Tyson though as an undisclosed sanctuary has reportedly agreed to take her.
Happy update: An animal sanctuary in Texas has agreed to take Tyson the tiger! Tyson will be transported tomorrow morning. Location is undisclosed while the investigation continues. 🐅 #khou11 pic.twitter.com/VqhA5T5w1v— Lauren Talarico (@KHOULauren) February 12, 2019
Looks like everything turned out great.
Tiger now safe and doing greeeeaaaat!— Tommy McIntyre (@tmci79) February 12, 2019