Houston Police said the tiger, named India, appears to be unharmed.
HOUSTON — The tiger spotted roaming a Houston neighborhood last weekend has been turned over to police.
Houston Police said the tiger, named India, appears to be unharmed and in good health.
Victor Cuevas, the man at the center of the Houston tiger investigation, was seen taking the tiger into a west Houston home last weekend.
HPD Commander Ron Borza said a friend of Georgie “Gia” Cuevas, Victor Cuevas’ wife, contacted HPD with a tip about India’s whereabouts. Gia Cuevas surrendered the tiger and told HPD that Victor Cuevas owns the tiger.
Police released video showing Gia Cuevas with Commander Ron Borza feeding the tiger after it was surrendered to HPD.
Borza said Gia isn’t facing charges right now. The investigation is ongoing.
Police said the tiger is being cared for at BARC Animal Shelter. Commander Borza said India is headed to an animal sanctuary Sunday morning.
Houston police and BARC animal control officers were looking for India. An HPD spokesperson told KHOU 11 earlier this week they were “still waiting for a phone call on its location.”
Victor Cuevas’ attorney, Michael Elliot spoke after India was found.
Elliott said Cuevas, before he went to jail, was calling around to find India. And he said Cuevas’ wife picked it up when he could no longer.
“An arrangement was made so a surrender could be had and that be done in an anonymous kind of way and we appreciate and thank the people who brought India back to safety as well,” said Elliott.
Even Tiger King star Carole Baskin joined the hunt for India. She offered a $5,000 reward to help find the big cat.
“I’m delighted that India is safe and hope authorities will reach out to the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries at sanctuaryfederation.org for permanent placement,” Baskin told KHOU 11.
On Friday, Victor Cuevas’ bond was revoked in the case of a 2017 murder. The judge set a new bond of $300,000 with the same conditions as before.
Victor Cuevas was already out on bond for the murder charge when the Harris County District Attorney’s Office charged him with evading arrest after he allegedly ran away from police with the tiger in the back of an SUV Friday.
Victor Cuevas was arrested Monday night and placed into Fort Bend County jail. By Wednesday he was released on a $50,000 bond.
Victor Cuevas’ attorney maintains his client was merely the temporary caretaker of India, the tiger, not the owner.
He also released new photos and a video of Victor Cuevas with the tiger taken over the past several months.
“India was taken to the owner of the cat. And it’s the owner who we are looking for.” Elliott said during a briefing following the ruling.