A Houston man snuck into a vacant house to smoke some pot, only for him to get his mellow harshed by a female tiger that was also living inside. Now police are trying to figure out how and why an overweight, caged female tiger came to be living inside a derelict house, CNN reports.
The unidentified man called police after he made the startling discovery, but cops were at first incredulous, thinking he’d smoked too much marijuana and was hallucinating. Sgt. Jason Alderete of the Houston Police Department’s Major Offenders, Livestock Animal Cruelty admitted to KTRK-TV (Houston) that police didn’t believe the man at first.
“We questioned them as to whether they were under the effects of the drugs or they actually saw a tiger.”
However, the man apparently convinced the police that something was amiss, and soon a search warrant was arranged and officers showed up at the house to investigate. Sure enough, there was a tiger inside. Specifically, a female tiger, locked up in a small cage that was too small and too flimsy for an animal of her size and strength.
Fortunately, the animal was okay, and even friendly, said the officers who had to deal with her. Though conditions inside the abandoned home were described as “deplorable,” the cat seemed well-cared-for. In fact, she was overweight and didn’t seem to want for food, as several packages of meat were found near her.
Animal control officers subdued the tiger with a tranquilizer gun while they figured out what to do next. Fortunately, arrangements have been made to put her in a big-cat sanctuary nearby.
It remains unclear, as of this writing, how the tiger came to be locked up in abandoned home, but it’s likely that someone thought they’d like to have a tiger as a pet, then realized they were in over their head, and abandoned the beast in a derelict home, locked in a cage. It’s a problem that animal-rights activists say happens all too often when people try to take on exotic animals as pets.
Big cats like tigers, of course, present additional problems – namely, that they’re huge predators and don’t make good pets, says Heidi Krahn, executive director of the Center for Animal Research & Education.
“They are basically a loaded gun pointed at anyone that encounters them. They can be extremely dangerous.”
Meanwhile, police are trying to track down and identify whoever left the animal in the home. It remains unclear if they will face any criminal charges. It is also unclear, as of this writing, whether or not the man who broke into the home to smoke pot will face criminal charges as well.