- A man trying to get into an abandoned Houston house to smoke weed was surprised to find a gigantic female tiger inside.
- The man told police he thought he might be hallucinating, but the tiger was indeed discovered in an unlocked cage.
- Estimates of the weight of the tiger range from 400 to 1,000 pounds.
- The tiger was tranquilized and taken to a local animal shelter, and has since secured a forever home.
A man went into an abandoned house in Houston to smoke weed, and he thought he was hallucinating when he came across a gigantic female tiger.
Sgt. Jason Alderete from Houston Police Department’s Major Offenders/Livestock Animal Cruelty Unit said that a “concerned citizen” called police when he was “trying to get into this house to smoke marijuana” and spotted a tiger inside – though he thought he might be hallucinating.
According to ABC 13 in Houston, he added: “We questioned them as to whether they were under the effects of the drugs or they actually saw a tiger. They saw a tiger in this building, this vacant house that’s obviously been abandoned for some time.”
Local news site Click2Houston reported that officers from BARC Animal Selter found the tiger in the garage of the house on Monday.
Reporter Lauren Talarico from location TV station KHOU tweeted a video of the tiger in its cage.
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
The tiger was reportedly nicknamed “Tyson” after the tiger from “The Hangover.” Alderete estimated that the tiger weighed between “400 to 800 pounds,” though other estimates are as high as 1,000 pounds.
Police obtained a warrant to tranquilize and remove the tiger, though officials called her “friendly.”
According to ABC, the tiger was being kept in a cage that “was not large or sturdy enough for a creature of that size,” alongside some packages of meat. Click2Houston added that the cage was not locked and the garage was secured by a screwdriver and a nylon strap.
ABC 13 photojournalist Charles Fisher shared a photo of the caged tiger on Twitter.
— Charles Fisher (@NewsCameraFish) February 11, 2019
Reporter Marla Carter then tweeted footage of the tiger being removed from the home after it was tranquilized.
— Marla Carter (@MarlaABC13) February 11, 2019
The tiger was taken to the BARC animal shelter with plans to move it to another permanent facility on Tuesday, though the Houston Zoo said it would not take the tiger, adding: “The Houston Zoo is home to two Malayan tigers, Berani and Satu, and does not have capacity to receive additional tigers.”
On Tuesday, Talarico tweeted that an animal sanctuary in Texas had agreed to take the tiger, who would be transported on Wednesday morning.
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
An investigation into how the tiger got there and who owns it is ongoing.