Police in Houston are looking for a man who claimed to be "with the zoo" after a tiger apparently escaped from his residence and roamed the neighborhood. The tiger—which was wearing a collar—was confronted by an armed off-duty Waller County Sheriff's Office deputy who was nearby when neighbors reported the big cat, the Houston Chronicle reports. The deputy yelled "Get your tiger back inside," along with a few swear words, at a man who emerged from the residence. The man brought the tiger back inside the residence without shots being fired. Minutes later, he put the animal in a white Jeep Cherokee and took off before police arrived. Police say they pursued the man but lost sight of him as he sped away.
Jose Ramos tells KHOU11 that he saw the tiger walking around and lying in grass across the street from his home around 8pm Sunday. He says he posted on a warning on a neighborhood forum, which apparently alerted the off-duty deputy, and called 911. Other neighbors say they had previously seen what appeared to be a monkey in a window at the home, but had no idea a tiger was being kept there. The homeowner says people who live in the rental property moved in last year—and didn't mention owning any animals, or pay a pet deposit. Houston residents are not allowed to keep tigers as pets. (In 2019, a pot smoker found a tiger in an abandoned Houston home.)