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India The Tiger Was Found In Houston, Sent To An Animal Sanctuary

Hand petting tiger with green jeweled collar.
Houston Police
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Houston Police announced Saturday night, May 15, 2021, that they found India, a missing tiger.

The animal was found unharmed, police say. Its alleged owner was in court Friday.

They found the tiger.

India, the lost tiger filmed roaming west Houston before being snatched up by its alleged owner last week, was found unharmed Saturday night and made its way to an animal sanctuary in North Texas.

India was taken to BARC, the city’s animal shelter facility, on Saturday. During a media briefing, Houston Police Department Commander Ron Borza confirmed that the cat owuld be sent to live at the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch about three hours north of the city.

Borza said Victor Cuevas was the owner of the tiger, and that his wife, Gia, turned the it over to police.

“We met on the west side of town, we transferred the tiger to HPD and BARC,” Borza said. “Luckily for us he is very tame, and he will be going to a sanctuary tomorrow, where hopefully he’ll live the rest of his life in a very safe environment.”

India is only 9 months old, but already weighs 175 pounds, Borza said.

“I work out every day,” the commander said. “That animal was extremely powerful. If he wanted to overcome you, he could do it instantly. No doubt about it. You should not have that in your home.”

Borza added that Cuevas’ wife was not facing charges as of Saturday night, but HPD will continue investigating the incident.

Witness video shows India roaming the west Houston neighborhood Sunday evening, where it came face-to-face with an off-duty Waller County deputy.

That's when police say Cuevas came out of his home, took the cat into his SUV, and drove off as officers arrived on the scene.

Cuevas was arrested Tuesday and charged with evading arrest. He was out on a $125,000 bond for a previous murder charge. That bond was revoked Friday and raised to $300,000. Cuevas was sent back to jail in Fort Bend County.

During the briefing at BARC, Cuevas’ attorney, Michael Elliott, held a separate press conference.

The attorney, who previously denied that his client owned the tiger, said that he was happy the animal was found safe.

“This really wasn’t about trying to do something for a case,” he said. "(Cuevas) loved the cat, and he wants to make sure that the cat was okay and that really took precedent over everything.”

Houston Public Media provided this story.