Police: Lacking Texas tiger has been discovered risk-free, healthful


Legal professional Michael Elliott and his consumer Victor Hugo Cuevas, a 26-calendar year-aged connected to a lacking tiger named India, show up at a bond revocation hearing on a individual murder cost at Fort Bend County Justice Heart on Friday, Might 14, 2021, in Richmond, Texas. (Godofredo A. Vásquez/Houston Chronicle by means of AP)


A tiger that frightened inhabitants after it was final observed briefly wandering all around a Houston neighborhood has been identified immediately after a virtually week-long research and appears to be unharmed, police introduced Saturday night.

In a brief video tweeted by Houston law enforcement, Cmdr. Ron Borza can be witnessed sitting down subsequent to the tiger, petting the animal and saying it has been a extensive 7 days looking for it.

“But we bought him, and he’s wholesome,” Borza reported as the wife of the guy law enforcement allege is the animal’s proprietor sat future to him and fed the tiger with a child bottle. The tiger was being held at BARC, the town of Houston’s animal shelter, but was envisioned to be taken Sunday morning to the Cleveland Amory Black Magnificence Ranch, an animal sanctuary in Murchison, Texas, found southeast of Dallas.

Authorities experienced been looking for the tiger, a 9-thirty day period-previous male named India, due to the fact it was spotted May perhaps 9 in a west Houston community. At the time, it was nearly shot by an off-obligation deputy right before remaining whisked away in a motor vehicle by Victor Hugo Cuevas, who law enforcement allege is the proprietor.

At a information conference later on Saturday evening, Borza explained that Cuevas’ wife, Giorgiana, turned over the tiger to police on Saturday after a friend of hers arrived at out to officers at BARC.

“It is Victor’s tiger. That’s what I was explained to by (Giorgiana Cuevas) … She says they’ve had that animal for 9 months,” Borza reported. He alleged that the tiger was passed close to to diverse men and women but that Cuevas’ spouse understood where by the tiger was at all occasions this 7 days as authorities searched for it.

Police are still trying to establish wherever just the tiger was held this 7 days and if any fees linked to having the tiger will be submitted. Tigers are not permitted in just Houston metropolis limitations less than a city ordinance unless of course the handler, this sort of as a zoo, is certified to have unique animals.

But Cuevas’ attorney, Michael W. Elliott, on Saturday night continued to insist his client doesn’t have the tiger, saying, “I am not positive it can make any distinction who technically owns India as he does not have a delivery certificate or title.”

“Victor was not the most important operator of India nor did India remain with him the the greater part of the time,” Elliott explained to The Associated Push. “Victor was nonetheless associated in the caretaking of India often. Victor enjoys India as anyone else would like a beloved pet … He dealt with India with enjoy and excellent procedure in all respects.”

Cuevas was arrested Monday by Houston police and billed with evading arrest for allegedly fleeing his house with the tiger immediately after officers had responded to a call about a risky animal.

At the time of his arrest by Houston law enforcement, Cuevas was currently out on bond for a murder charge in a 2017 lethal taking pictures in neighboring Fort Bend County. Cuevas has preserved the shooting was self-defense, Elliott explained.

Cuevas was launched on a separate bond for the evading arrest cost on Wednesday. But prosecutors in Fort Bend County then sought to have him held with no bond on the murder charge. Following an all-day hearing on Friday, a choose revoked Cuevas’ existing $125,000 bond on the murder demand and issued a new bond for $300,000. He continues to be jailed.

Through Friday’s court listening to, Waller County Sheriff’s Office environment Deputy Wes Manion, who life in the Houston neighborhood where the tiger was found, testified he interacted with the animal for about 10 minutes to make absolutely sure it did not go right after an individual else. He said Cuevas arrived out of his residence yelling, “Don’t get rid of it,” grabbed the tiger by the collar and kissed its head in advance of leading it back again inside of his home. A variety of movies of the tiger’s encounter with Manion were being posted on social media.

Elliott has claimed Cuevas did very little illegal for the reason that Texas has no statewide legislation forbidding personal ownership of tigers and other unique animals.

Borza said that an exotic animal like a tiger need to by no means be saved in a residence. When India seemed domesticated, the tiger now weighs 175 lbs (79 kg), it can “do a large amount of injury” and will only get even larger, he said.

“He will be likely to a sanctuary … in which hopefully he’ll dwell the relaxation of his life in a pretty safe environment,” Borza said.