Thanks to one refreshingly honest pot smoker, one tiger will soon be living the good life.
This story begins in Houston, where last week an anonymous tipster reported thinking he saw a caged tiger at an abandoned home he and a friend had smoked at. But because of the marijuana, he wasn’t sure if he’d just been just hallucinating. It turns out he certainly hadn’t.
Learn more below:
Upon inspecting the property, local authorities discovered a gigantic 1,000+ pound tiger whom they’ve since nicknamed Tyson after a character in the film “The Hangover.”
While it’s reportedly not illegal to own a tiger in Texas, a wild game permit is required. It’s a moot point nonetheless because owing a tiger is illegal in Houston.
It’s also mighty irresponsible to house a tiger in a suburban neighborhood filled with kids.
“It’s big and it’s scary. A lot of kids around the street too. My kids … the neighbor has kids, so it’s scary,” one neighborhood resident said to local station KHOU.
It doesn’t help that the unknown owner had set up one extremely lousy cage.
“He’s in a rinky-dink cage that could easily bust open. It was secured with a nylon strap and a screwdriver for the top of the cage. He could have gone on a rampage in the city … anything could have happened!” Sgt. Jason Alderete of the Houston Police Major Offender Animal Cruelty Unit said.
The good news is that Tyson’s about to get a major upgrade in his life.
At first local authorities tranquilized him and then transported him to a nearby animal shelter for safeguarding, according to city official Lara Cottingham.
“A pretty small cage inside basically a garage in a house that didn’t look like it was in the best shape. So it was important that we get it out of that situation,” she said to station KPRC.
On Tuesday, however, the big fellow is headed to a full-scale animal sanctuary.
Happy update: An animal sanctuary in Texas has agreed to take Tyson the tiger! Tyson will be transported tomorrow morning. Location is undisclosed while the investigation continues. ? #khou11 pic.twitter.com/VqhA5T5w1v
— Lauren Talarico (@KHOULauren) February 12, 2019
“It’s a beautiful, beautiful animal, and we want it to live a happy, healthy life, and living in a cage is not optimal circumstances for anyone involved,” Cottingham added.
“There’s an incredible network all across the United States and here in Houston and here in Texas. It’s just finding the right combination and then transporting.”
While the specific animal shelter that Tyson is headed to hasn’t been identified for unclear reasons, it’s known for certain that it’s definitely not the Houston Zoo.
“The Houston Zoo is aware of the tiger found in southeast Houston today, Feb. 11; however, the Houston Zoo is not involved in this case, and is not receiving the tiger, as incorrectly reported,” the zoo said in a statement. “The Houston Zoo is home to two Malayan tigers, Berani and Satu, and does not have the capacity to receive additional tigers.”
“Fewer than 3,500 tigers of all tiger subspecies remain in the wild today, according to the Tiger Conservation Campaign. Malayan tigers surviving on the Malay Peninsula are critically endangered with an estimated population of 300 remaining in the wild.”
Tyson’s transportation to the unspecified zoo reportedly began around 9:30 am Tuesday morning:
Tyson the tiger is about to be transported to an animal sanctuary! Sooo happy he’ll have a much happier life. Watch live here, https://t.co/vFsJADuYF6. #khou11 #tysonthetiger #houston #tiger #animallover pic.twitter.com/UPixaBfqXE
— Lauren Talarico (@KHOULauren) February 12, 2019
Good for him!
What remains unclear is who owns the home and why he or she had kept a tiger locked up a small, dingy cave. Whenever the perpetrator is found, he or she will reportedly face a hefty fine, not to mention a lot of social media backlash.
Some of that backlash has already begun:
And did the owners go to jail ? I hope . Poor Tiger ? Glad she is okay ?
— AuthorDeborah (@deborah_author) February 12, 2019
This isn’t “wild.” This is wrong and depressing. The tiger’s abuser should be prosecuted.
— Coffee ‘n Avocado (@coffeenavocado) February 12, 2019
Feed them to the tiger!!!!!
— Jordy (@averagegamer713) February 12, 2019
The former owner or occupants should be found and charged for the suffering of this animal. Although if you can afford to smuggle a tiger into Texas, you are well above the law.
— ɥɐllɐʍɯnqdɐlS (@Slapbumwallah) February 12, 2019
Pot doesn’t cause hallucinations
The owner should be in caged with the tiger, just to see what would happend
— Anthony Lemutant (@mutan357) February 12, 2019
Of course, some think the owner will never be found …
Just thinking… maybe it wasn’t abandoned… maybe it being overweight was cause it ate the owner?https://t.co/o1wM33nhFe
— Jeebus Christos (@travelinjeebus) February 12, 2019
If the house is abandoned…how did he get overweight?
Question is: the owner has gone missing.
Did the tiger ate…hmmm
— Joey (@i_am_joey) February 12, 2019
Anything’s certainly possible!
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