A tiger is seen in a cage after it was found on February 11, 2019, in a near vacant house in Houston, Texas, U.S., in this photo obtained from social media. BARC/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
(Reuters) – Houston animal control officials would like to know who owns a “perfectly delightful” tiger that turned up unexpectedly in a little used house in a residential part of the city.
The tiger and the cage it was in were moved to the city’s animal control campus for the night after it was discovered in a house in southeast Houston on Monday, Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care spokeswoman Lara Cottingham said.
“There was no concern about the tiger getting out of the cage,” Cottingham said by telephone on Tuesday. “She was perfectly delightful.”
The wild animal was first discovered by two people who entered the nearly vacant house looking for a place to smoke marijuana, KHOU-TV reported officials as saying.
Although the tiger, which appeared to be well fed, was cooperative, it was tranquilized for the trip across town to the BARC campus, which is mostly used for dogs, cats and occasional farm animals, Cottingham said.
The tiger is being moved to a Texas animal sanctuary on Tuesday at an undisclosed location, Cottingham said.
There is an ongoing investigation into who owns the house and how the tiger got in there, she said. It is illegal to keep a tiger within city limits, she added.
Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Steve Orlofsky