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India The Lost Tiger Has Been Found In Houston

Houston Police announced Saturday night, May 15, 2021, that they found India, a missing tiger.
Houston Police Twitter
Houston Police announced Saturday night, May 15, 2021, that they found India, a missing tiger.

They found the tiger.

Police announced on Twitter that India, the lost tiger filmed roaming west Houston before being snatched up by its alleged owner last week, was found unharmed Saturday night.

India was taken to BARC, the city’s animal shelter facility. During a media briefing, Houston Police Department Commander Ron Borza said Victor Cuevas was the owner of the tiger, and that his wife, Gia, turned the tiger 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.”

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

“We can always call her and bring her to HPD and talk to her more, if we need to,” he said.

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 That bond was revoked Friday and raised to $300,000.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.”

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Lucio is a reporter and photojournalist currently studying media production at the University of Houston. He has previously worked as a news photographer for Houston Public Media, the NPR affiliate in Houston, Texas. His photography has appeared throughout several Texas-based NPR affiliates.