By: CBS News
February 12, 2019
HOUSTON (CBS) -- Police are investigating after a tiger was found in a home in Houston Monday, reports CBS affiliate KHOU-TV. Officials said two people who went into the abandoned home to smoke marijuana called 311 when they found the large cat.
311 officials transferred the call the BARC animal shelter, which got a warrant to search the home.
Crews nicknamed him "Tyson" after a character in the movie "The Hangover." Officers said Tyson was well fed and in good shape but in accommodations poorly suited for him.
"He's in a rinky-dink cage that could easily bust open. It was secured with a nylon strap and a screwdriver for the top of the cage. He could have gone on a rampage in the city … anything could have happened!" said Sgt. Jason Alderete of the Houston Police Major Offender Animal Cruelty Unit.
That unit and BARC tranquilized Tyson so they could move him to BARC for the night.
On Tuesday, an undisclosed animal sanctuary in Texas will transport Tyson to his new home. The location isn't being made public while an investigation into who owns the tiger continues.
It's legal to own a tiger in Texas if the owner has a wild game permit but it's illegal to have one in Houston and Tyson's owner, if found, could face a hefty fine.
"It's big and it's scary," said neighbor Pablo Briagas. "A lot of kids around the street too. My kids ... the neighbor has kids, so it's scary."
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