Police hunt for missing Bengal tiger spotted roaming streets of Houston, Texas

11 May 2021, 10:26

A Tiger was spotted roaming the streets of Houston, Texas, on Sunday
A Tiger was spotted roaming the streets of Houston, Texas, on Sunday. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Police in Texas have launched a hunt for a missing Tiger which was roaming loose before its owner bundled it into a car and fled.

Stunned neighbours called authorities on Sunday evening to report the big cat was stalking the streets in west Houston.

Off-duty police officer Wes Manion confronted the animal, but told local media it "did not look super aggressive."

The animal's owner, Victor Hugo Cuevas, 26, dragged the back inside his rented home, but put it in the back of a white Jeep and allegedly fled as police arrived at the scene.

A spokesperson said he got away after a "brief pursuit", and while Cuevas was arrested on Monday night and charged with felony evading police, the Tiger is still unaccounted for.

Victor Senties, a spokesperson for the Houston Police Department, said : "The owner of the tiger then takes the tiger ... puts it inside his white Jeep Cherokee, gets in the car and he flees.

"Our responding units see the vehicle fleeing and they try to initiate a vehicle pursuit, but they lose sight of the vehicle."

Detectives said the "tiger portion of the investigation" is still ongoing.

County Sheriff's also confirmed that Cuevas Cuevas was currently out on $250,000 bond after being charged with murder over a shooting outside a Sushi restaurant in 2017.

It is illegal to house a wild animal, including tigers and lions, in a residence or a business inside the city limits in Houston.

Police also believe Cuevas was also housing two monkeys in his home, although it is legal to keep monkeys under 30lbs in private homes in Texas.