Houston animal control officers removed a tiger found in a home in southeast Houston.
The big cat, a female, was found in a residence in the 9400 block of E. Avenue J in the Harrisburg/Manchester area near East Loop 610 shortly after 1 p.m. on Monday.
Lara Cottingham with the BARC Animal Shelter said an anonymous neighbor called 3-1-1 to report the tiger in the home.
The person was reportedly concerned that it was being held in a cage too small for it, and was worried about its safety, according to Cottingham.
Animal control officers arrived on the scene and spotted the cat. They called Houston Police for assistance in obtaining a warrant to enter the home. They entered and found the caged animal.
The resident was reportedly not there at the time.
BARC officers will remove the tiger, and find a place to house it.
“Our shelter is not designed to house big cats,” Cottingham told Chron.com
She said BARC has contacted a wildlife refuge that can take in the tiger, but not until Tuesday.
“We will keep it at our shelter for the night, safely secured from our other animals,”said Cottingham.
As the sun went down on Avenue J Monday evening, neighbors were shocked to hear the news that a wild tiger was living down the street from them.
“Maybe they had it like a pet,” Pablo Briagas said as his guard dogs roamed up and down his driveway. “You know people these days.”
The short block was lined with all sorts of guard dogs, each barking at every passing pedestrian. Briagas’ 8-year-old son, Isaac, said he believed his guard dog could have protected him if the tiger were to break out.
“It could break out of the cage and attack people,” Isaac said on the dangers of housing such a big cat in a small neighborhood. “If it gets out of the cage and off the chain, it would be crazy.”
Pablo Briagas felt the same sentiment as his son.
“I have my kids here,” he said. “It’s dangerous for them to have (a tiger down the street). Even if they had it as a pet, that’s dangerous. They need to have that at the zoo.”
The tiger was long gone by 5:30 p.m. Its fate was not immediately clear, although it will have a cozy stay at Houston’s BARC Animal Shelter overnight.
This is a developing story.